In the NLCS clincher, Robertson couldn’t escape. Called for the ninth — three out of a pennant with a one-run lead — he walked a pair of one-out walks. Suárez bailed him out, and later, in the clubhouse, Robertson spoke of his exit with disarming candor.
“I lost a bit of confidence in my ability to throw when I couldn’t throw when I needed to,” he said. “I needed to throw a curveball into the strike zone but was afraid of a home run.”
He added: “I was so nervous, and Ranger just came over and said, ‘It’s okay, I’ll shoot it where I need it, where do you want it? Thoms made the perfect call.
Undaunted this time, Robertson used his curve ball to take out Alvarez and Tucker. In between, however, Bregman doubled up the left-field wall (“He’s 10 feet from the ball game par,” Robertson said. “You’ve got to be careful and get a little lucky”) and soon Robertson found himself wrapped in padlocked chains: a walk to Yuli Gurriel and a wild throw that put the tying run in third and the winning run in second.
He fell behind Aledmys Díaz, 3–0, with the last ball hitting Díaz when he leaned over it; James Hoye, the plate umpire, did not allow the first base. Díaz then surprised Robertson by swinging on a slider for a strike. He grounded fellow third baseman Edmundo Sosa to end the game.
“That’s who he is, too,” Thomson said of Robertson. “Sometimes it won’t be 1-2-3. But he is mentally strong. It will keep grinding and keep throwing. He’s not going to be afraid of the moment, that’s for sure.
Neither did Thomson. He got up to meet the moment his players played and the Phillies have a World Series lead.
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