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Nate Robertson

Detroit Tigers — No. 29
Starting Pitcher
Born: September 3, 1977 (1977-09-03) (age 32)
Wichita, Kansas
Bats: Right Throws: Left 
MLB debut
September 7, 2002 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win–Loss     51–69
Earned run average     4.92
Strikeouts     712

Nathan Daniel "Nate" Robertson, (born September 3, 1977, in Wichita, Kansas) is a left-handed pitcher who currently plays with the Detroit Tigers.



Florida Marlins

Robertson attended Wichita State University and was drafted by the Florida Marlins in the fifth round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft. Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery in 1998 while a sophomore at Wichita State.[1] Robertson pitched for the Low-A Utica Blue Sox and Single-A Kane County Cougars; with the latter he was 6-1 with a 2.29 ERA in eight starts. Robertson returned to Kane County for the 2000 season but spent most of the year on the disabled list battling tendinitis in his left elbow. Florida moved him up to the High-A Brevard County Manatees, where he went 11-4 as a starter. Robertson's rise continued in 2002, as Florida promoted him to the Double-A Portland Sea Dogs of the Eastern League. At Portland Robertson amassed a 10-9 record with a 3.42 ERA, sufficient that Florida summoned him to the major league club in early September.[2]

Robertson made his Major League debut on September 7, 2002, for the Marlins, pitching 4⅔ innings and allowing four earned runs in a 4–1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.[2] Robertson moved to the bullpen for the remainder of the season, making five relief appearances. The following January Florida traded Robertson along with Gary Knotts and Rob Henkel to the Detroit Tigers for Mark Redman and Jerrod Fuell.[3]

Detroit Tigers

Robertson began the 2003 season with the Toledo Mud Hens, Detroit's Triple-A affiliate. Robertson remained there until late August, when Detroit, well on its way to its landmark 119-loss season, called him up. In his first start with Detroit and second major league start overall Robertson threw 8 1/3 innings against the Texas Rangers, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight. Robertson did not figure in the decision; Detroit lost the game 4-2 in sixteen innings.[4] Robertson won his first major league game eleven days later, pitching five innings in an 8-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox and avoiding the dubious honor of losing Detroit's 100th game that year (Mike Maroth would be tagged for Detroit's 100th loss the next evening, also against Chicago).[5]

Robertson's best pitch is his 4-seam fastball, followed by a "plus" slider and major-league quality change-up.

In 2005, he began wearing clear corrective lenses to correct his lazy eye.

Robertson invented a new means of rallying the Tigers during a June 2006 game with the New York Yankees. While wearing a microphone for television, Robertson began stuffing his mouth with Big League Chew to encourage the Tigers to score, down 5–0. Iván Rodríguez hit a home run on the subsequent at-bat. Even though the Tigers actually lost the game, the "Gum Time!" tradition has caught on among Detroit players and fans.[6]

Robertson logged the exact same number of innings pitched in back-to-back seasons, with 196⅔ in both 2004 and 2005.

Robertson earned his first career postseason victory on October 10, 2006, by pitching five hectic shutout innings against the Oakland Athletics in game 1 which helped launch the Detroit Tigers into their ALCS sweep of the A's and their first pennant since 1984.

In 2008 he tied for the major league lead in bunt hits allowed, with 9.[1]

Robertson is also a part owner of the Wichita Wingnuts independent baseball organization.

On August 22, 2008, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced that Nate was being demoted to the bullpen due to ongoing trouble with his slider.[7] Nate was quoted by the Detroit Free Press as saying that it was the "lowest point" of his career.[8]


External links

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