So why is Gardner in there tonight?

April, 10, 2012
4/10/12
5:53
PM ET
Joe Girardi, no doubt, reacted to the groundswell of support for the Brett Gardner lefty movement right here on this very blog.

Girardi explained that he put Gardner in there against lefty Wei-Yin Chen because lefties have hit better than righties against him. With Freddy Garcia on the mound, Girardi reasoned there might be more fly balls so he wanted to have Gardner's superior defense in there.

I asked Girardi if there is any attribute that the Yankees become better at -- besides power -- when Gardner is on the bench and Andruw Jones is in left .

"Andruw probably has a higher average against left-handers," Girardi said.

Last year Jones hit .286 against lefties with a .384 on-base. Gardner hit .233 with a .344 on-base.

"Andruw is probably not going to steal the bases the Gardy does," Girardi said. "He is not going to play quite the same defense. I think Andruw's defense is somewhat underrated. The way he plays it. This is a guy that really knows how to run to the spot."
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146