Mets nearer David Robertson, 38, getting old like tremendous wine in fifteenth season

WASHINGTON — The 1,000th strikeout of David Robertson’s profession got here Friday evening on a 92.4-mph cutter to Nationals outfielder Alex Name.

For his first, 15 years earlier, Robertson used a cutter almost 3 mph slower — 89.7 — as a Yankees reliever to strike out Mets pitcher Oliver Perez at Shea Stadium.

It took Robertson 746 video games to the touch 4 digits in strikeouts and develop into simply the fourth lively reliever to achieve the milestone. As a 15-year veteran enjoying together with his sixth staff, the 38-year-old is by some means throwing tougher than he did as a 23-year-old child in pinstripes.

In a clubhouse full of higher-profile pitchers making an attempt to overcome age, equivalent to Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, probably the most profitable Mets pitcher combating Father Time, not less than early within the season, has been Robertson, their nearer.

“I bought a brand new elbow. That helped lots,” stated Robertson, who underwent Tommy John surgical procedure in 2019 and missed the 2020 season. “I used to be positively not going to get by means of with out that surgical procedure.

“I simply attempt to keep in form. Attempt to maintain a constructive angle. And once I get in between the traces, do every little thing I can to attempt to get these outs.”

David Robertson
USA TODAY Sports activities through Reuters Con

Robertson has been profitable by means of a sterling begin to the season, during which he has performed his greatest Edwin Diaz impression.

Robertson, who didn’t pitch Saturday after the Mets-Nationwide sport was suspended till Sunday after a nearly four-hour rain delay, has allowed only one earned run in 17 innings (0.53 ERA) and transformed seven saves.

He couldn’t make it eight Friday evening, when he recorded 5 outs, however walked two within the ninth inning earlier than giving solution to Drew Smith, who earned his first profession save.

However Robertson nonetheless was untouchable within the course of and added 4 extra strikeouts to his ledger, together with the milestone.

“It’s an enormous quantity I’ve been chasing for some time. I wasn’t positive if I used to be ever going to get to it or not,” stated Robertson, who signed a one-year, $10 million pact with the Mets this offseason. “I take a look at it prefer it’s a lot of the accomplishments that Scherzer and Verlander bought. Once they get to three,000 [strikeouts], I really feel like attending to 1,000 as a reliever is an enormous deal.”

He’s simply the 14th pitcher in MLB historical past to document as many strikeouts solely in reduction, and Robertson’s solely lively firm are Kenley Jansen, Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman.

Developments equivalent to surgical procedures and pitching applied sciences have made it simpler to age as a pitcher, and the Mets — fronted by age-defying starters Scherzer and Verlander, who’re a mixed 78 years previous — hope to be the beneficiaries.

“We don’t actually consider ourselves as being previous,” stated Robertson, who has 164 profession saves. “We’re rivals. I nonetheless really feel like I’m on the high of my sport, and I feel they do, too.

David Robertson pitching for the Yankees in 2009.
Getty Photos

“We’ll proceed to pitch till the sport lets us know or till our wives inform us we are able to’t do it anymore.”

Supervisor Buck Showalter is just not utilizing Robertson like a frail, previous arm.

The Mets’ greatest wholesome reliever threw 40 pitches Friday in his second outing of multiple-inning work. Showalter acknowledged he doesn’t need to stretch Robertson like that “fairly often,” however the bullpen was quick and there was a sport to win.

After Smith struck out Washington’s Lane Thomas to protect the victory, Robertson stated he frolicked with a number of of the fellows and drank some beer to rejoice.

Robertson got here to the Mets with hopes that he could be celebrating with champagne late within the season. His solely World Collection ring was gained with the 2009 Yankees.

“I want to finish it on a excessive be aware. I want to finish it [at some point] on a World Collection,” Robertson stated. “That’s my purpose.”

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