How he destroys hitters is a secret that baseball technology is only beginning to understand, but Robertson was at his blow-away best against Kansas City. After getting Aviles to fly to center, Alcides Escobar and Chris Getz whiffed.
How? Because neither Royals hitter had a chance against Robertson’s 82-mph curveball.
Why? Because both hitters had been battered by the ferocity of Robertson’s fastball, which, although clocked at 93 to 94 mph, has the signature of a 97-mph heater.
That’s made possible by Robertson’s enormous push-off from the mound – a full 7 feet from the rubber, the most behind Tim Lincecum. Last month, Sports Illustrated profiled a Dutch company, Trackman, which extrapolates virtual speed from actual velocity and distance from the plate. Robertson can add as much as 4 mph to his fastball because he’s closer to the hitter than other pitchers. The average major league stride is 5 feet, 10 inches.
…That’s the beauty of his gift: Robertson doesn’t have to repeat any internal monologue to get his legs into gear. Instead, in times of stress, he thinks about the machinery of strikes-throwing, watching as hitters struggle to catch up to his heat, deciding when it’s time to unleash the killer curveball.
[Photo Credit: Post 34 Baseball]