Robin Ventura probably had a short-lived moment of panic when he saw his star closer shaking his right arm after throwing a pitch in the ninth inning of the White Sox 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Ventura and trainer Herm Schneider promptly jogged out of the third base dugout to check on David Robertson, who didn’t look right after throwing a first-strike to Royals pinch hitter Kendrys Morales with two outs in the ninth. It turned out Robertson was just a little dizzy.
“I wish there was another sign he could do to say he was light-handed instead of shaking his arm,” Ventura said, “but he said he was fine.”
Robertson went on to retire Morales and nail down his 11th save in 13 tries this year, but first in two weeks. With the White Sox scuffling lately — just three wins in their last 11 games — the 31-year-old right-hander on Sunday only made his second appearance in the last 12 days.
Expanding the time frame a bit, Robertson, who’s in the second year of a four-year, $46 million contract, has only pitched four times since May 4. He last appeared in the White Sox May 17 loss to the Houston Astros and wasn’t needed two days later as Chris Sale polished off a complete game masterpiece.
“It hasn’t been that difficult,” Robertson said. “I got to pitch the other day against Houston, we had a chance to win that ballgame, it just slipped away from us. They gave me plenty of opportunities. I was ready to go the other day when Saler pitched. I stay ready and prepared for the outings that are gonna come.”
The White Sox bullpen earned high marks for its performance Sunday, with Robertson, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and Nate Jones retiring all seven batters they combined to face in 2 1/3 innings against the opportunistic defending World Series champions.
The only blip was Robertson’s little scare with two outs in the ninth, which turned out to be nothing to worry about for the White Sox and crowd of 34,526.
“It was nice to have a really hyped up crowd,” Robertson said. “It was a lot of fun. I wish I wouldn’t have been a little dizzy there.”