Robertson caps comeback with grand slam

by Gary Shelton on July 23, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Robertson led a five-run ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

Robertson led a five-run ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

Monday, 4 a.m.

One swing of the bat, and Daniel Robertson took the brooms out of the hands of the Miami Marlins.

Robertson ended Sunday's game with a grand slam./CARMEN MANDATO

Robertson ended Sunday's game with a grand slam./CARMEN MANDATO

One swing of the bat, and Robertson allowed the Tampa Bay Rays to keep a winning record.

One swing of the bat, and Robertson turned defeat into victory. He changed the image of the Rays of a weak-hitting team in a tailspin to a resilient team that found a way to a 6-4 victory over the Marlins. He provided the team with its 50th win (finally) of the season.

It was the first grand slam walkoff in the history of the Rays. Since their inception, the Rays had allowed 10 walkoff grand slams, including two this season.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

Adam Kolarek got his first win for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Adam Kolarek got his first win for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Yeah, it's amazing what one swing -- just one -- can do for a guy. Robertson had been hitting just .178 over the last two weeks, but one swing brought home C.J. Cron, Mallex Smith and Willy Adames with the winning runs, as the ball was driven to left-center on a 1-0 pitch. The Rays have won four walkoff games in their last 16 home games.

“It says that he realizes what he’s done for us this year," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "He’s had a rough stretch here. Even going into the break

Archer struck out 13 for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Archer struck out 13 for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

he wasn’t swinging the bat very well. He kidded around with me. I gave him an off day in Minnesota and he goes, ‘I’d give me an off day too.’

"He recognizes that. Comes back after the break and it doesn’t go his way. I think he picked up a hit last night. It was a good day for a day off, but that spot, we felt like he was our best option to go to. He made all of us look really smart. That was a huge hit. A huge way to finish a ballgame and find a way to win because we were not performing well obviously at the plate the last three days.”

Robertson, who also had a walkoff single on July 19, knew from contact the ball was gone. He walked from the plate, watching the flight of the ball.

Gomez had two hits for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Gomez had two hits for Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

“I was just ready," Robertson said. "I was in the cage with Manny (Rays batting practice thrower Manny Navarro) all day. I was joking with him, I was like, ‘Man, I feel good. Mark my word, I’m going to turn this around.’ It’s been a tough stretch. But, that’s baseball, man.

"It’s up and down, but that’s part of the grind of the season. Coming to work every day, being ready, being prepared, that’s what you can control. The hits and everything is out of your control. I wanted a pitch in the zone. I knew (Kyle Barraclough’s) pitching count was getting up there, and I just

Smith had an 11-pitch at bat in the ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

Smith had an 11-pitch at bat in the ninth./CARMEN MANDATO

wanted something over the plate and to put an easy swing on it. I was telling them earlier that with Mallex (Smith) on second, if I found a little turf out there that it would tie that game. I put a better swing on it than that and got it over the fence.”

Robertson said the Rays feel a sense of urgency.

“Absolutely," he said. "Obviously we didn’t go into the All-Star break the way we wanted with losing three out of four in Minnesota, and then it would not have been right for us to get swept at home, where we’ve been playing so

Cash saw his team win its 50th./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash saw his team win its 50th./JEFFREY S. KING

well. So like I said, to get this win is a huge confidence boost for our team.
I say that not like we need it, because we are a confident group and we all believe in each other and trust each other. Just getting that win was huge.”

Chris Archer was beaten up for four runs in the second inning, but he came back to strike out 13 in a non-decision.

“It was amazing," Archer said. D"-Rob, he’s been huge for us all year this year so for him to come up clutch was amazing, especially against their closer, who has had a heck of a year so far.”

Cash, too, was impressed despite the second inning.

“I thought the command, the strike throwing," Cash said, when asked what he like the most. "Roughly 75-76% percent strikes. Any time a pitcher does that more times than not you are going to find yourself having success. That second inning stunk because they pieced everything together right then, but really dominating performance on his end.”

The Rays now face the New York Yankees at Tropicana Field for three games. Hunter Wood will start for Tampa Bay against the Yankees' Luis Severino. The game begins at 7:10 p.m.

 

 

 

Share with:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on Reddit0Email this to someone

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: