Cubs’ Robertson takes 1st career AB — against position player originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
David Robertson has achieved a lot in his career, from individual feats to winning the World Series. But at least one thing has been missing.
Well, until Wednesday. In the Cubs‘ 14-5 win over the Pirates, Robertson stepped into the batter’s box for his first career plate appearance.
Robertson has enjoyed a long big-league career, but it’s not like there’s been a ton of chances for him to hit. He’s a reliever who’s spent 12 of his 14 seasons in the American League.
MLB adopting the universal DH this season made stepping into the box even less probable for Robertson, who already was fourth all-time in games played (695) without a plate appearance.
Heck, Robertson never even batted in the minor leagues. But the circumstances finally aligned Wednesday.
The Cubs led Pittsburgh 10-1 in the ninth inning and Robertson was in the game after pitching the eighth. After an Alfonso Rivas grand slam extended the lead to 14-1, manager David Ross burned his DH spot and sent his closer to the plate.
And the smile on Robertson’s face said it all.
Robertson didn’t have his own batting equipment, so he borrowed Christopher Morel’s bat and Yan Gomes’ helmet, according to Meghan Montemurro of the Chicago Tribune.
David Robertson borrowed Christopher Morelâ€™s bat & Yan Gomesâ€™ helmet for his 1st pro at-bat.
Robertson said he went up to plate planning to swing & wasnâ€™t going to walk when it got to a full count.
â€œI had to swing, I had to try. Iâ€™m glad I did & made my dream come true.â€ #Cubs
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 23, 2022
Adding to the unique moment was the fact Pirates infielder Diego Castillo was on the mound to face Robertson — who worked a six-pitch at-bat. Castillo topped out at 55.4 mph.
Castillo got Robertson to strike out on a 51 mph eephus, and though the pitch was out of the zone, Robertson wasn’t going down looking.
“I was just trying to swing hard and hit the ball,” Robertson said, smiling, in an interview that aired on Marquee Network’s postgame show.
“I really wasn’t thinking about anything else. It seemed like the mound was very close.”
Robertson may have punched out, but he finally has that plate appearance on his résumé.
Oh, and he pitched a scoreless inning that lowered his ERA to 1.75.
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