Yankees closer David Robertson had big shoes to fill after Mariano Rivera retired at the end of last season, but he is starting to adjust to his new role.
“I want to be the guy who finishes the game and gets everyone back in the clubhouse,” Robertson said yesterday at an event at the Westin Grand Central to promote National Running Day.
Robertson, who was the most successful set-up man in baseball over the last three seasons and led the majors in holds, noted that there is no difference or added pressure between the eighth and ninth innings. Still, some people began to worry after he blew his second save of the season on Sunday, when he gave up five runs and recorded just two outs against the Twins. It was his second blown save in 10 days after successfully converting his first nine opportunities.
Much like Rivera, Robertson agreed that having a short memory was important for a closer. He’s determined to not let the past dictate the present, and will instead focus on the task at hand.
“It’s a game that can beat you down real quick if you let it, but I try not to be affected by what happens in one day,” Robertson said. “That day is done with; I’m moving on to the next day. I’m still gonna have to do my job when I get out on the mound and make pitches because my team’s counting on me.”