Since then, the Yankees have faced eight left-handed starters, and Gardner has started seven of those games. He was back in the lineup last night against John Danks, and for the season, Gardner actually has a higher batting average and on-base percentage against lefties than righties.
“I remember I struggled against lefties earlier in the minor leagues but just tried to do different things to improve on it,” Gardner said. “And the last few years, I feel like I’ve gotten better. Obviously there’s still a lot of room for improvement whether it’s vs. righties or vs. lefties, but I’ve improved on it. Still working on some things as far as my approach and things like that, but it’s definitely good to be in the lineup against them.”
Gardner has gone through a few cold spells, but in the big picture he’s been productive ever since that slow month of April. He’s reaching base regularly, and he’s stealing more often (and more effectively). Andruw Jones is still getting at-bats, but they’re coming at the expense of struggling Jorge Posada, not thriving Gardner.
“I’ve just been choosing to DH Andruw a little bit more,” Girardi said. “I mean, (Gardner’s) numbers are pretty equal, but it was a way to get Andruw going, and Curtis (Granderson) was hitting lefties so hard that it was hard to get Curtis out of the lineup… Even on those days (when Gardner sat), I didn’t necessarly want to, but I wanted to get Andruw going and I thought that was the best way to do it.”
Associated Press photo