NEW YORK — David Robertson found some redemption in his return to Yankee Stadium.
Exactly one year after he last pitched here, an outing that ultimately led to one of the cooler moments in Yankees history, the White Sox closer triumphantly closed out a 5-2 victory over the New York Yankees.
Robertson needed only 16 pitches to record his 19th career save at Yankee Stadium, one he hoped to lock down on Sept. 25, 2014. Instead, Robertson blew a three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles, and Derek Jeter, who was playing for the final time at Yankee Stadium, won the game with a walkoff single.
“Obviously that was my last outing here at Yankee Stadium, and the baseball gods were against me that day,” Robertson said. “They wanted to see Derek walk off with a base hit. It was a pretty incredible moment.”
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Robertson pitched parts of seven seasons with the Yankees before he signed a four-year, $46-million deal with the White Sox this offseason. He said his first appearance back at Yankee Stadium was all business, though he did have fun facing Brett Gardner as the two locked horns until Robertson got his ex-teammate and friend to fly out. Robertson joked that he didn’t think about his previous outing but also acknowledged that it crossed his mind. He didn’t realize the 5-2 score was exactly the same as when he pitched in that contest, too.
At the time, Robertson was more concerned about wrecking Jeter’s last hurrah in The Bronx, saying he went from an “all-time low to an all-time high” when the shortstop singled in the winning run.
Now removed from the experience, Robertson views it a little more enjoyably.
“Looking back on it now, I’m not mad about it at all,” Robertson said. “It stung at the time because I was so worried that I had just blown the game and we were going to go extra innings and Derek’s not going to get called out (of the game) from short and get the applause he deserves in the ninth inning. Instead he got the place to erupt on a walk-off base hit.”