Gardner gets it done
What a night for Brett Gardner — and what a week it must have been for the Yankees’ sparkplug. Gardner made his third big league hit count in a big way on Sunday, dribbling a Luis Sojo-type hit up the middle to lift the Yankees to a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox and split the four-game series.
Gardner trotted down to the interview room still in his full pinstripes, his socks pulled high and his jersey caked full of dirt. It was just one night, but you can already tell that Gardner has a pretty good idea of what it takes to be successful in the big leagues. Thinking it and doing it are two different things, but Gardner can be a game-changer with his combination of speed and defense.
He’s no Jacoby Ellsbury, as some people have written, but he could be Jacoby Ellsbury Lite. For the next 15 days or however long Johnny Damon is out, you can live with that. Gardner said he’d just get some “good food” and then head back home to tend to his dog, which he brought to New York from Triple-A. He’ll enjoy this day off.
So will the Yankees, who welcome the Tampa Bay Rays to New York on Tuesday for what Joe Girardi actually called the two most important games they’ll play all year. The site coolstandings.com, which tracks these things, puts the Yankees as having a 13.1% chance of making the playoffs this season. They overcame great odds last summer as well, but it’s clear we’ll be all watching an uphill climb.