It wasn't a bad outing by any means last night for Brien Gordon. But it also wasn't terribly good. 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks, and just 3 swinging strikes over 5 innings is about what you'd expect from a replacement level lifetime Triple-A pitcher. And although it's a nice story and it sounds like Joe is going to give him another start, the clock is already counting down to the return of Bartolo Colon and Phil Hughes to the rotation, and he's sitting last out of the bottom 3 in the contest.
Ivan Nova, who is seemingly on the hot seat every other week, is coming off his 8-inning masterpiece and has quietly put together a 4-start string of outings that have ranged anywhere from pretty good to goddamn good. He's starting to use his secondary pitches more effectively so batters can't sit on his fastball and he's certainly done enough to guarantee himself at least another 2-3 turns through the rotation, covering at least the return of Colon.
Freddy Garcia has also rebounded nicely after his stinkbomb against Bahhston, allowing just 4 ER over 20.2 innings in his last 3 starts, including 7 innings of 0 ER ball in yesterday's day game that would have and could have been at least 7, if not 8, shutout innings if Ramiro Pena knew how to throw. Freddy's portfolio of junk is well documented by now, but there's no denying that he's performed well above expectations this year, and his 3.30 ERA after yesterday is currently better than CC's. He's in.
So it's looking like Brien Gordon might be left out in the cold when Bartolo returns, assuming it's right after his DL stint ends. And then it will be Freddy and Nova fighting it out to keep a spot over Hughes when he is ready to return in a couple weeks. But that might not be such a bad thing for Gordon or the Yankees. Jeff Marquez went on the DL yesterday and Hector Noesi got absolutely shelled late in the nightcap. Gordon's impressive Triple-A numbers were racked up as a relief pitcher, so there's a good chance he sticks around to fill a gap in the 'pen even after he gets booted from the rotation.