I mean REALLY good! Hey, everyone! Come see how good Dave Robertson is!!
Yesterday was a perfect example of not just the kind of pitcher that Robertson has become, but the kind of respect and confidence he has earned from his manager to come in and shut people down in big spots. After Noesi put a guy on with 2 outs in the 7th, Joe went right to D-Rob to get out of the potential jam, which he did perfectly. He then came back out for the 8th and blazed through the 3 best hitters in the Oriole lineup, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones, and Vlad Guerrero, striking out Markakis and Jones swinging and freezing Geurrero. Robertson threw 19 pitches to record 4 outs, 12 of them strikes, 4 of those strikes swinging. As the fireman yesterday, he didn't just man the hoses and put out the blaze, he also saved a woman and young child from the burning building and their pet dog.
Not like they already weren't going into yesterday's game, but after it D-Rob's numbers are just absurd now. He's pitched 42.1 innings in 45 appearances this year, and in those innings he has put up a 1.49 ERA (tied for 7th amongst all relievers, 3rd amongst AL), 1.63 FIP (3rd MLB, 1st AL), 14.46 K/9 (2nd MLB, 1st AL), and 1.8 WAR (tied 2nd MLB, 1st AL). He still walks his fair share of guys, but his stuff is so good and his ability to bear down and make pitches when he has to is so good that his tendency to be a bit wild at times actually seems to work to his advantage. D-Rob has been nothing but lights out since Opening Day, to the point that I've just kind of taken it for granted and not given him his due, hence this post. Soriano or no Soriano, D-Rob has earned his spot as Mo's setup man. I think the fact that Soriano got used in garbage time on Saturday night and D-Rob was used in money time yesterday shows where Joe is leaning on the roles for these guys, and for once he's making the right decision when it comes to the 'pen. Now hit the music!