David Robertson waited 14 years for this second.
The Chicago Cubs’ 37-year-old nearer had been itching to step into the batter’s field simply as soon as throughout his major-league profession. His time lastly arrived Wednesday evening at PNC Park within the Cubs’ 14-5 blowout win towards the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Robertson had not taken an official at-bat since highschool as a shortstop and pitcher in Tuscaloosa, Ala., a stretch that included 787 pitching appearances in skilled baseball relationship to when the New York Yankees drafted him out of the University of Alabama in 2006.
But Robertson held out hope that probability would come up in some unspecified time in the future throughout his big-league profession. The state of affairs actually was unconventional. With two outs within the prime of the ninth, Robertson hit towards Pirates infielder Diego Castillo.
As everybody within the Cubs dugout lined up towards the railing for a front-row view, Castillo struck out a swinging Robertson on a full rely. In honor of his first profession MLB at-bat, Robertson was given the Cubs’ lineup card from the sport. He plans to discover a place to hold it in his house.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get another opportunity, so I’m glad I did and made my dream come true,” Robertson stated. “Even though I struck out.”
Robertson borrowed Christopher Morel’s bat and Yan Gomes’ helmet. Someone provided him batting gloves, however he declined. He figured they wouldn’t matter as a result of Robertson’s strategy was easy: swing onerous and hit the ball.
“I really wasn’t thinking about anything else,” Robertson stated. “It seemed like the mound was very close.”
His memorable second initially was an extended shot.
Robertson, who pitched a scoreless eighth, wanted the offense’s assist to get to the plate. He was slotted into the designated hitter spot within the order, which wasn’t due up till eighth within the remaining inning. Castillo retired two of the primary three Cubs he confronted, however Andrelton Simmons walked, Jason Heyward was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Alfonso Rivas adopted together with his first profession grand slam. Rafael Ortega’s two-strike single introduced up Robertson.
“I didn’t think it was actually going to happen,” he stated.
“And then I blew it. I blew it.”
Robertson fell behind Castillo 1-2 earlier than working a full rely. He whiffed on the sixth pitch of the at-bat, elevated above the zone for a would-be ball. Robertson didn’t see a pitch quicker than 55.4 mph. One of his three swings-and-misses got here on a 40.4-mph eephus.
Throughout the sequence, a smile stretched throughout Robertson’s face.
“It was fun to get in the box, I just couldn’t hit the ball,” Robertson stated. “It was so slow and I wasn’t going to walk. … I mean, it’s easy to tell when it’s a ball or strike when it’s, like, 40 miles an hour, but I wasn’t going to walk. I had to swing. I had to try.”
Manager David Ross had broached the subject with Robertson earlier than the Pirates introduced in Castillo for the ninth. Ross stated he had been seeking to get Robertson an at-bat a few instances this season and wasn’t positive it was going to work out Wednesday.
Robertson’s coaches and teammates received some laughs out of watching him hit. Ross joked that Robertson had “too much bad speed for how slow it was coming.” He seen Robertson couldn’t cease smiling on deck and known as him a child at coronary heart, even when the veteran’s pitching.
Robertson stated he “absolutely” heard it from his teammates after strolling again into the dugout after his strikeout, all in good enjoyable, proclaiming: “They were wearing me out.” Ian Happ, who homered within the win, joked about Robertson needing to get within the cage to work on his swing.
“That was tough,” stated an amused Keegan Thompson after holding the Pirates to 1 run in six innings. “He’s been begging for an at-bat the whole year and he swung and missed three times. I mean, at least he swung, but you’ve got to put the ball in play.”
Baseball is an extended season, and for a Cubs crew nearer to final place than first, the levity of Robertson hitting was welcomed.
“It felt like first time I’ve laughed in the dugout in a while, so that definitely felt good,” Ross stated. “These guys continue to come in and work hard, and you want to see them succeed and us succeed, and the nights when you have the ability to relax and take the focus off of so many little things and just have a little bit of fun and watch D-Rob get up there and a position player versus pitcher for once, (it) was fun to watch.”