Phillies: Five things learned from opening weekend sweep

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with teammates after the Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates with teammates after the Phillies defeated the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, March 28, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – MARCH 30: David Robertson #30 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on March 30, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

David Robertson needs to shake off the rust

David Robertson was brought in over the offseason to anchor what was projected to be a deep back end of the bullpen. Between him, Seranthony Dominguez, Pat Neshek, and Hector Neris, the team has relievers they believe they can trust to lock down close games.

Unfortunately, Robertson has not been that steadying presence so far this year. He appeared in the first two games of the series and gave up runs both times. Robertson came in with a seven-run lead on Opening Day, but a walk and two singles shrunk that lead to six.

Robertson entered with another comfortable lead on Saturday with the Phillies up 8-4 in the ninth inning. Again, Robertson allowed a run before recording an out, giving up a two-run home run to Charlie Culberson. Robertson gave up a two-out double to let Ronald Acuna come to the plate as the tying run but thankfully got him to fly out to end the game.

Luckily, Robertson had enough of a lead in both of his outings that the runs he allowed didn’t impact the final outcome. However, if Gabe Kapler plans to lean on Robertson heavily in close situations, he can’t continue to give up runs. This weekend may have impacted Kapler’s decision-making on who to use late in games.

Robertson only pitched 3.2 unspectacular innings in spring training. Veterans like him rarely get much work as the team tries to figure out the last few spots in the bullpen. Still, he didn’t get much of a chance to work off the rust in Clearwater, so now he has to do that during the regular season. Hopefully, he can do that as soon as possible.

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