Brett Gardner leads the Yankees into Oakland
Everything’s coming up Brett Gardner right now, which isn’t a bad thing for the Yankees. He enters play tonight coming off his first-ever selection as the American League Player of the Week, and said that it has been huge for him to feel no discomfort in his right elbow after missing most of last season due to injury.
“I don’t really worry about the results as much as just being able to stay healthy and stay on the field,” Gardner said. “My elbow has felt great the whole year. I was a little concerned about that just because at the end of the season last year I didn’t get many at-bats with it.
“I always wondered in the off-season how it was going to feel, but it’s felt great. I’ve been healthy so I can’t complain. The team’s playing well and we’re having fun.”
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that it has been a treat to be able to write Gardner’s name in the lineup as the leadoff hitter each night.
“He’s just been locked in. He’s really swinging the bat,” Girardi said. “He’s been a force at the top of our order, he’s playing very good defense and running the bases. He’s been locked in; what you don’t want is that off-day to get in the way of that.”
CC Sabathia is on the mound tonight for the Yanks (37-26) as they face the A’s (38-27) and former teammate Bartolo Colon. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. ET and the game can be seen on YES.
The Yankees are 6-0 vs. past Cy Young Award winners this season (including a win on May 4 over Colon). Sabathia will make his third such start tonight against a former Cy Young Award winner, having defeated Justin Verlander on April 7 at Comerica Park and earning a no-decision in a Yankees win on May 14 vs. Felix Hernandez.