Joe Girardi said he hasn’t scheduled his starting pitchers beyond the next four games, but right now, the plan is for Brian Gordon to stay in the rotation. Tonight, Gordon took the good with the bad. He didn’t walk anyone, and at one point he retired 10 in a row, but when he made mistakes, the Reds punished him with three home runs.
“He had one good start and one so-so start,” Girardi said. “Obviously he’s gotten an opportunity because we have people that are hurt. Besides the few mistakes he made, he did okay, but his mistakes were big mistakes… He’s in our rotation. I haven’t sat and thought with the extra days off, what do you do? Right now, I have plans for him to start again.”
Girardi said the Yankees will stay on rotation for this weekend series against the Rockies — A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova — then Freddy Garcia will likely get the start in Tuesday’s series opener against the Brewers. Beyond that, Girardi’s not sure how he’ll manipulate the rotation. He could change it around because of Monday’s off day.
Against two of the five highest-scoring lineups in baseball, Gordon hasn’t been overwhelming — and he’s occasionally walked a tightrope — but he’s given the Yankees a chance to win. He had his good moments tonight, but a first-inning cutter, a second-inning curveball and a fifth-inning slider were hammered for home runs to left field.
“Definitely a little disappointed with the outcome,” Gordon said. “I think overall I felt like I executed most of my pitches, and I think I made three mistakes and I paid for all three of them.”
As Russell Martin explained it: “I thought he made a lot of good pitches today. He didn’t always get rewarded for it. I felt like it was a pretty tight zone out there for him, and then with the tight zone you get behind in counts and you have to get back in counts. Left maybe a couple of pitches over the middle of the plate, and they didn’t miss them.”
The Yankees might not need a fifth starter the next time through the rotation, but they’ll need one eventually, and right now Gordon is still in that spot.
Here’s Gordon after tonight’s game.
• As you would probably imagine, this was a pretty short postgame in the Yankees clubhouse. Jorge Posada’s home run in the first game, and the Yankees winning record on the road trip, remained the biggest stories of the day. In the big picture, Gordon and the second-game letdown were pretty secondary today.
• Of course, there was the subject of Hector Noesi. He had his first truly bad outing since coming to the big leagues. The Yankees were still within striking distance before Noesi gave up three runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth. “Missed location, too,” Girardi said. “Left some balls up. Left a slider up to Rolen, an 0-2 slider. He just made mistakes.”
• The good news out of the bullpen was Boone Logan, who faced two very good lefties — Joey Votto and Jay Bruce — and got them both out.
• There wasn’t much discussion about the Yankees missed opportunity in the top of the seventh. Not much to say about it really. Girardi’s strategy spoke for itself — he pinch hit in the spots that he could pinch hit and neither Robinson Cano nor Posada got the big hit — and that was really their last chance to make a dent in the Reds’ lead. Next time the Yankees came to the plate, the game was out of hand.
• Cano’s ninth-inning single did extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
• The Yankees are now 8-19 when the opposition scores first.
• Reds outfielder Chris Heisey had three home runs today. He had five all season before today. “Every mistake that he got, it only took him one pitch,” Martin said. “I remember him from when I used to see him, earlier on, he really didn’t hit breaking balls that well. Today, he got a couple of mistakes on breaking pitches and he hit them.”
• Johnny Cueto is good. “I can’t speak for everybody, but I didn’t really get many pitches to hit today,” Martin said. “He had that fastball working in the bottom of the zone against me and mixing his breaking ball really well. He was tough out there.”
• The Jeff Marquez injury is a mystery. He pitched this weekend in Chicago, seemed fine, then said his shoulder was bothering him while playing catch today. “He came in and played catch today and his arm was sore,” Girardi said. “I can’t tell you when he did it. He threw pretty well Sunday for us. I have no idea. He said he played catch today and his arm was sore.”
• The Yankees have signed veterans Terry Tiffee and Mike Lamb to minor league deals to bolster the Triple-A lineup. Just my opinion, but both could quickly become legitimate options for the big league bench as power-hitting corner infielders, kind of filling that Eric Chavez role.
Associated Press photos