10/14/2004 6:54 PM ET
Notes: Gordon struggling in relief
Usually reliable righty having hard time in postseason
By Mark Feinsand / MLB.com
|Tom Gordon has allowed four runs in five postseason innings, posting a 7.20 ERA in five games. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
BOSTON -- Tom Gordon was one of the most reliable cogs in the Yankees' machine this season, but the right-hander has been unusually inconsistent in the postseason, raising some red flags for New York.
Gordon has allowed four runs in five postseason innings, posting a 7.20 ERA in five games. He put two men on base in Game 2 of the Division Series, a jam which Mariano Rivera couldn't escape, as the closer blew just the third playoff save of his career.
Against the Red Sox, Gordon has put runners on in the eighth inning in each of the first two games, prompting Joe Torre to call on Rivera to get the final four outs. Rivera has done the job both times, but Gordon's ineffectiveness is sure to be a concern for the Yankees.
"He's been a little bit extra hyper. He was jumping a lot yesterday and he admitted that," said pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre. "The more times he's out there in those situations, the more he'll relax. His biggest problem has been his command, which hasn't been quite as sharp. But his stuff has been great."
In his three career postseason series before this season, Gordon had similar problems, going 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA as a member of the Red Sox.
"I've definitely had problems with that," Gordon said. "But it's exciting. After all I've been through to get here, nothing is going to make me feel badly about what is going on. I just want the team to win. I think I've done a good job. I don't think the skipper would keep going back to me if he didn't have faith in me."
Torre has said time and time again that Gordon is his man in the eighth inning, though he won't hesitate to turn to Rivera if things get uncomfortable.
"I can't tell him not to get overexcited. It's an exciting time of year," Torre said. "I think Flash is intelligent enough to understand that you make adjustments along the way, whether it's in how you breathe or how you prepare or whatever it is.
"When we get to two outs in the eighth inning and you have Mariano Rivera," the manager added, "I think we're going to probably go there more times than not."
Giambi feeling good: Jason Giambi got positive reports from his doctor on Monday, having gone in for a follow-up visit regarding the benign tumor that has wiped out his season.
Giambi, who still experiences dizziness from time to time, said that he is feeling better every day, as he continues to take batting practice with hitting coach Don Mattingly.
Although he hasn't been on the roster for either of the first two rounds, Giambi has done his best to chip in, assisting Mattingly with his charts to help his teammates.
"I've moved past the point of frustration. I worked my [rear end] off to get back, so I can live with it. I gave it everything I've got," Giambi said. "I came here to be a part of this, to win a championship. But for me to move on, I have to accept that I got sick. Now, the biggest thing is just being here and supporting my teammates."
Giambi could be added to the roster for the World Series if the Yankees make it, but he's not spending much time worrying about it.
"I'm not even thinking about it," he said. "I'm just doing the things I can, and if things work out, they work out. I'm not going to hold my breath and keep going through the roller-coaster."
No more Nomar: This may be the third time in five years that the Yankees and Red Sox are meeting in the ALCS, but it is the first time that the series is taking place without Nomar Garciaparra, who was traded to the Cubs on July 31 in a deal that sent Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz to the Red Sox.
Derek Jeter, who for years has been compared with Garciaparra and Alex Rodriguez as the AL's top shortstops, said that the absence of Garciaparra has been notable when the teams have met in the second half.
"It's weird seeing someone else play shortstop for them," Jeter said. "Whenever I've played against them, Nomar has always been the one out there. When you thought 'Boston Red Sox,' he was the first one you thought of. He was the face of this team."
Quotable: "I don't even talk about it right now with my wife." -- Stottlemyre, when asked whether he has decided to return in 2005 to serve as the Yankees' pitching coach. He said he would wait until the season was over to make a decision
Newest Yankee: John Olerud was not with the team in Boston on Thursday, as his wife, Kelly, gave birth to the couple's third child, Jessica Ann.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.