Texas Rangers Reliever Unimpressed, But He's Only Pitcher In 2024 To Mow Down Dodgers Top 3 Sluggers In Order

Texas Rangers reliever David Robertson struck out Mookie Betts and Shohei Ohtani on six pitches and got Freddie Freeman swinging to help beat the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday night.
Jun 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher David Robertson (37) is greeted following the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 12, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers pitcher David Robertson (37) is greeted following the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

ARLINGTON — Whether David Robertson wants to acknowledge it, he pulled off a first for 2024 on Wednesday night.

The Texas Rangers reliever had the most impressive appearance in an outstanding night for the bullpen in the club's 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Robertson, 39, was tasked with facing the top of the Dodgers lineup in the eighth, with the Rangers leading 3-1. He struck out all three batters — Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman — arguably the best 1-2-3 punch in the Majors, and all three likely headed to Cooperstown when their playing careers are over. Robertson is the first pitcher to strike the trio out in order in 2024.

"I don't really think it's that big of a deal," Robertson said. "There have been a lot of times in my career I've gone out there and struck out the side. It just happened to be against these three guys this time. You guys are trying to make a story out of it. I'm like, 'I got three outs.'"

But his manager Bruce Bochy thinks it was a big deal, too. In a desperate moment for his scuffling club, Robertson came in and shut down three of the best hitters in the game. He struck out Betts and Ohtani on six consecutive pitches. It took nine to get Freeman, but he also went down swinging on a cutter on the outside edge of the zone. The Rangers bullpen held the Dodgers to a run in six innings behind Jon Gray's first start since coming off the injured list. Bochy said Robertson's curveball had the sharpest bite so far this season.

"He does downplay everything," Bochy saidof Robertson "He says, 'Hey, that's my job.' Not so much to strike them out, but to get the good hitters out. But that was impressive."

Robertson dismissed the accomplishment with a laugh, and suggested reporters were overreacting.

"It's just a matter of time before someone else does it. I was just trying to get three outs so we can win the ballgame," he said. "My arm felt good. I was commanding the zone and doing a little better than I did last time. It was a good day for me. They're going to get you from time to time. Yesterday, was my turn to get them."

After getting Betts and Ohtani, Freeman made Robertson work for the final strikeout.

"I showed him almost every pitch I had," Robertson said. "I think the last time I got him out was in spring training and he was a Brave. He's just a hell of a hitter.

"It doesn't matter who's coming out of the box, I'm paid to try to get them out and they're paid to try to score runs off me," he added. "I don't think too much beyond that. I'm going to throw my best stuff, and they're going to do what they do, and hopefully, I come out on top, and we get a Rangers win."

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Stefan Stevenson

STEFAN STEVENSON

Stefan Stevenson worked as a journalist and editor at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for 25 years, covering sports, concerts, and general news. His beats have included the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, and Texas Christian University football.