Converted outfielder Brian Gordon's second major-league start was a bit of a regression from his first, but Joe Girardi said after tonight's 10-2 Yankees loss to the Reds that there will probably be a third, if only because he has no other choice.
"Obviously he's gotten an opportunity because we have people who are hurt,'' Girardi said. "Besides the few mistakes that he made, he did OK. But his mistakes were big mistakes.''
Were they ever. After allowing just two runs in 5-1/3 innings to the Texas Rangers last week, Gordon got lit up for three home runs in five innings tonight, two by Chris Heisey, including one leading off the bottom of the first inning. Johnny Gomes also homered off Gordon leading off the second, and what had to be disheartening for Gordon is that each home run was hit off a different pitch. Heisey hit a cutter for his first one and a slider for his second, Gomes an 0-2 curveball.
"It is deflating,'' Gordon (0-1, 5.23) said. "Overall I felt like I executed most of my pitches. I made three mistakes and I paid for all three of them.''
Gordon was not the worst Yankees pitcher, not by far. That honor went to Hector Noesi, who allowed eight hits and six runs in 1-2/3 innings including Heisey's third home run in the eighth. But with injuries to Phil Hughes and Bartolo Colon, the Yankees were hoping that the Gordon they saw on June 16 at Yankee Stadium would be the one they saw tonight, and for a few more starts until one or both of the other starters return to action.
Now, Girardi may not want to use Gordon again, but has to, although it is possible that he may skip Gordon's next turn in the rotation, which would come up next Wednesday agianst the Milwaukee Brewers. With Tuesday's rainout and an off-day scheduled for Monday, Girardi has the luxury of keeping his other four starters on rotation and bypassing Gordon, at least for his next turn.
Right now, he plans to start A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova against the Colorado Rockies at home this weekend, and then Freddy Garcia to open the Milwaukee series on June 28. After that, Burnett could start again on regular rest on the 29th, followed by Sabathia. Gordon's turn would not come up again until July 3 against the Mets.
"I gotta figure out what I'm going to do,'' Girardi said. "I mean, (Gordon's) in our rotation. I haven’t really decided with yesterday’s off-day what do you do with him, but right now I have plans for him to start again.''