Brian Gordon, as Brian Cashman pointed out, is no Cliff Lee.
He doesn’t have a nameplate on his locker inside the Yankees’ clubhouse, and fans watching him throw across the street from Yankee Stadium on Wednesday had no idea who the heck he was.
“Nice arm,” one passerby said.
But on Thursday afternoon, Gordon -- who warmed up to Queen’s “Flash” -- came out of relative anonymity to become the savior of the Yankees' depleted pitching staff.
The 32-year-old journeyman, a converted outfielder who signed with the Yankees to make an emergency start against the Rangers, allowed just two runs in 5 1/3 innings in his Yankee debut. Unfortunately, he stands to lose because New York is trailing Texas, 2-1.
Pitching in the majors for the first time since Sept. 27, 2008, Gordon allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out three. He also hit a batter, and it couldn’t have come at a more inopportune time.
With the bases loaded, two outs and the game tied at 1 in the top of the fifth, Gordon struck Adrian Beltre in the back with an 0-2 curveball to give the Rangers the lead.
Hector Noesi, who also was a candidate to make the start on Thursday afternoon in place of the injured Bartolo Colon, recorded the final two outs of the sixth.