Rangers’ David Robertson Dominates Dodgers’ Trio of Stars in Back-to-Back Games

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This season hasn’t lived up to expectations for the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers, who are currently 33–35. But they did just take two out of three games against the vaunted Los Angeles Dodgers, thanks in large part to the efforts of veteran reliever David Robertson.

Texas got blown out in the first game of the series on Tuesday, 15–2, before winning 3–2 on Wednesday and 3–1 on Thursday. In both of the Rangers’ wins, Robertson had to face the top of the Dodgers’ star-studded lineup in the eighth inning. And both times, Robertson struck out the imposing trio of Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman in order.

On Wednesday, he got Betts to offer weakly at a curveball out of the zone, made Ohtani swing over the top of another curve and blew a fastball by Freeman.

On Thursday, Robertson got into a bit of trouble by hitting Cavan Biggio with a pitch to open the inning and then allowing a single to No. 9 hitter Austin Barnes. But then Robertson got out of the jam by striking out Betts, Ohtani and Freeman again.

No other pitcher in the majors this season has struck out those three players all in a row even once. Robertson managed to do it on consecutive days.

Robertson is 39 but still one of the most reliable relievers in the game. He’s struck out 35.9% of the batters he’s faced this season, which ranks in the top 2% of all pitchers in MLB. Betts, Ohtani and Freeman will be glad they don’t have to face the Rangers again this season.


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Dan Gartland

DAN GARTLAND

Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).