Rays morning after: Rookie SS Daniel Robertson never wants to feel this way again
Rookie SS Daniel Robertson still wasn't sure, after reviewing the specifics in his head and rewinding the video a few times, exactly what went wrong when he made the crucial error in the seventh inning that coat the Rays a run Thursday in what ended up a 5-3 loss.
But he was certain he knew he never wanted to feel that way again.
"It makes me eager to get back out there and make a SportsCenter Top 10 play,'' he said. "That's what I take pride in - I take pride in my defense, I take pride in helping my pitcher out. It's unfortunate it didn't happen tonight and it might have cost us the ball game. Who knows. Get out of that inning (Steven Souza Jr) hits that home it's 4-3 instead of a tie ballgame. There's so many things you can look at. But the bottom line is that's a play I didn't make.''
The play in question, a few innings after Robertson booted a grounder, came at a key moment. Manager Kevin Cash had just take a big chance, and got it right, in leaving Alex Cobb in to face Miguel Cabrera with two on and no outs, and Cobb got the ground ball for the double play they needed on his 116th and final pitch.
But Ian Kinsler, who reached when 2B Michael Martinez failed to make a play on a grounder to start the inning, ended up at third with Jumbo Diaz coming in to face Victor Martinez.
Diaz did his job, too, getting Martinez to hit a chopper to short.
Best Robertson can figure, he came in a bit aggressively to play the ball off the second hop rather than sit back on it, even though he knew he had plenty of time with Martinez running, but his feet came out from under him.
"I tried to come around it and I lose my footing and slip,'' he said. "There's no excuses. Obviously I have to deal with it and overcome it.''
Cash said it looked to him that when Robertson "went up to address the ball he probably ran through it a little bit.''
As Diaz was warming up, Robertson, 3B Evan Longoria and 1B Logan Morrison were discussing the infield.
"It's funny; we were talking about it .. that this infield has some loose dirt,'' Robertson said. "Longo had some tough hops, obviousy I took one off the chest earlier. And then, boom, first guy hits one and I lose my footing.''
Robertson has been dazzling defensively, having made only two errors in the first two months before doubling his season total. Cash was bragging on him pre-game, saying he was at the point where he wants the ball to hit to Robertson, whether at short or back at second, where he is likely headed back tonight. ... "I think everyone knows it is uncharacteristic, I just lost my footing,'' he said. "Obviously it feels terrible. .. I can't beat myself up over it. It won't be my last error. ... We're only human, stuff happdns. ... You learn from these type of things and you come back tomorrow ready to go.''