PITTSBURGH – For one of the few times this year, there were smiles from the start to a finish of a game for the Cubs.
That’s because they got the lead early and piled on over the course of nine innings, crushing the Pirates 14-5 in their second-biggest offensive output of the season.
The offense pounded out a trio of homers, including Alfonso Rivas’ first grand slam in Major League Baseball, while Keegan Thompson had another strong outing, going six innings while allowing just one run.
Yet the highlight of the night came when the result was well in hand, and that concerned a pitcher who finally got his chance to grab a bat in the majors.
David Robertson, who is in his 14th season in the league, finally got a plate appearance in the ninth inning after pitching a scoreless eighth. The moment came in his 696th MLB game, which is the record for most contests pitched without an at-bat according to Elias Sports Bureau.
Yankees Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera previously held the record with 687 games.
With it being a blowout, Robertson faced Pirates infielder Diego Castillo for his first at-bat, and the pitcher battled it out. He would get the count to full before swinging through a 50-mile-per-hour pitch.
It didn’t seem like he was too upset about it as he smiled from the moment he started his first at-bat till the end after finally getting his chance at the plate.
Robertson is in his first season with the Cubs after spending part of the 2021 season with the Tampa Bay Rays. A former pitcher for the Yankees, White Sox, and Phillies, Robertson has saved eight games in ten chances, sporting a 1.75 ERA with 35 strikeouts compared to 13 walks in 23 apperances.