The reliever is the team's best hope now that their legendary closer is injured.
In the ninth inning of Wednesday night's Yankees-Rays game, Tampa's Matt Joyce hit a three-run homer off New York reliever David Robertson. It proved to be the winning margin in a 4-1 loss for the Yanks.
No big deal. Something like this happens a couple of times a week in the big leagues. Except that it was a big deal. It was the first home run allowed by Robertson this season. It produced for the first runs Robertson had allowed this year. In fact, they were the first runs he had allowed in the 26 1/3 innings going back to August of 2011.
The irony of the loss is that it highlighted precisely how important Robertson has become to the Yankees. Since 2009 Robertson has been something of a mini-legend in the Bronx. He has already earned several nicknames: "The Hamma from Bama" (he was born in Birmingham, attended the University of Alabama and is the fifth Crimson Tider to wear a Yankees uniform), "Houdini" (named by Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain for his uncanny ability to escape bases-loaded situations, 22 in a row so far), and "The Silent Assassin" (from Yankee outfielder Nick Swisher, who admires the way Robertson walks in, does his job, walks off, and has little to say to reporters later). "He's only been on the team for about five years," cracks Swisher, "and he's already got three nicknames. One more and he should be in the Hall of Fame."