Some good results are only possible when the game gets stupid

I don’t know about you guys, but to me this will always be the definitive image of longtime MLB rescuer David Robertson:

Credit: Images by Elsa / Getty

This is since October 2017, when a tip foul from the club of Brian Dozier, then of the Minnesota Twins, deflected a Robertson court directly into the dick-and-balls of Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, in the sixth inning of a wild card game. . It’s troubling to remember this event – I’m not a fan of either the Yankees or the Twins and have no other memories of this game – but the fact is that there is a spot in my brain reserved for short videos of athletes being smashed in the groin. from bullets. If I remember correctly, the Sanchez pig region suffered a brutal direct blow, the violence of which was reflected in the horrified reaction of his teammate.

Robertson, now 37, is still there. Having pitched just 18 total innings in the past two seasons following Tommy John’s surgery, he has secured a job this season by closing games for the Chicago Cubs, who really stink. On Wednesday night, the Cubs faced the Pirates in the third of a four-game series, in Pittsburgh. This series wasn’t very close: Pittsburgh won their first two games with a total of 17 points, and the Cubs took a 13-point lead in Wednesday’s ninth inning, before the Pirates put together some late runs. Unlikely, none of these games produced the worst hit in this season series: In April, the Cubs beat the Pirates in Chicago by a scandalous score of 21-0. Debut winger Diego Castillo closed that game on the mound for the Pirates, conceding four points out of four hits and a walk in his first career pitching appearance.

Castillo returned to the mound on Wednesday night, once again to spare the Pittsburgh bullpen and make up for a lopsided loss. Positioning throwing is more common today than ever, but what is now less common than in the entire history of professional baseball is pitching. And what has simply never happened at any point in the past 18 years, going backwards in his senior year at Paul W. Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, there is David Robertson making a plate appearance at a live baseball game. Being a 37-year-old rescuer, and now that the designated hitter is featured in both the American League and the National League, Robertson’s chances of swinging a bat in a competitive match are effectively nil. That Robertson’s career can go by without ever being in the batter’s box isn’t exactly a tragedy at the level of Moonlight Graham, but it’s not nothing either: According to Sarah Langs of the MLB, Robertson’s 695 career games without an appearance on the plate were recorded as the fourth in baseball history. The dreams of the most pragmatic baseball-loving children do not stop never swing a baseball bat in the majors, not to mention a 15-year major league career. Man just needs to be allowed to dig in there and swing that damn club!

Cubs manager David Ross evidently agreed and decided Wednesday night’s outbreak would be Robertson’s big break. How unprepared is a rescuer in his 696th career game to take his first and only career one to bat? Well, for starters, there is the question of equipment: Robertson, who was a teenager the last time he needed batting gloves, quickly borrowed a bat from Cubs coach Christopher Morel and a helmet from catcher Yan Gomes, and made his way to the circle on the bridge, where the joy of the moment eventually sank. “He couldn’t stop smiling on deck,” Ross said after the game. “His teammates were definitely having fun, I was having fun. It was fun. “

The grin continued as Robertson made his way to the right hitter’s box, where Castillo’s fiery heater (hitting a searing 55 mph) represented a rare chance for an absolute beginner to make decent contact. What followed was a delightful late batting game as Major League Baseball is able to produce, with an interior, who made his second pitching career appearance, euphusic (eephii?) To a more veteran. close, making his first appearance on the career plate:

The magic ultimately failed to produce any kind of storybook result. Robertson took two awkward cuts to fall into a 1–2 hole and then worked his way through. The sixth pitch of Castillo’s serve went head-on, but Robertson was busy the whole time. “I wasn’t going to not swing,” he said after the big time. “I had to swing. I had to try. ”With all due respect to Pirates receiver Michael Perez, I think we all agree that the funniest possible outcome would have been Robertson violently throwing a ball into the catcher’s trash, for quite a while. ‘symmetry. Unfortunately, Robertson’s third swing of the night was as wild as the first two, and he hit without ever making contact. However, the fact that he fell swinging is something we can all be comfortable with. to have done it and to have fulfilled my dream, ”Robertson reflected a euphoric post-game Robertson.

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