At the clincher in the NLCS, Robertson couldn’t escape. Called in the ninth round – three pennants by one – he issued a one-time pair of walks. Suarez bailed him out, and later, at the club, Robertson talked about his disarmament outing frankly.
“I lost some confidence in my ability to play when I couldn’t play when I needed to,” he said. “I needed to throw the ball into the strike zone but I was afraid to run at home.”
He added, “I was so nervous, and the Ranger came up like, ‘No big deal, I’m going to release it where I need it, and where do you want it? Toms made the perfect call.
This time Robertson bravely used the curve ball to hit Alvarez and Tucker. In between, though, Bergmann doubled down on the left field wall (“He’s 10 feet away from tying a ball game. You’ve got to be careful and be a little lucky,” Robertson said) and Robertson soon found himself wrapped in locked chains: a walk to Yuli Gurriel, a runaway pitch put a tie in third and a winning run in second.
He fell behind Aledmys Díaz, 3-0, the last ball hitting Díaz as he leaned on it; James Hoy, the home plate referee, was not given the first rule. Then Diaz stunned Robertson by swinging the slider for a blow. Another suspended for the third Edmundo Sosa to end the match.
“It is too,” Thompson said of Robertson. “Sometimes it won’t be 1-2-3. But he is mentally tough. He will keep grinding and keep promoting. He won’t be afraid of this moment, that’s for sure.”
Thompson was not. He has risen to meet the moment, his players have performed, and Velez has the lead in the world championships.
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