NEW YORK -- Brian Gordon became the odd man out Saturday, as the 32-year-old starter was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Bartolo Colon's return against the Mets.
Gordon made two starts with the Yankees, going 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA. He had spent 15 seasons in the Minor Leagues, with his only other big league stint coming with the Rangers in 2008, when he made three appearances.
Gordon had gone 5-0 with Triple-A Lehigh Valley of the Phillies' organization this season. His 1.14 ERA was the best in the International League at the time of his callup to the Yankees.
The Yankees acquired Gordon for a June 16 start, the first start Colon missed after suffering a strained left hamstring five days earlier.
Gordon's glove from that game, the first all-synthetic (no leather) glove ever used in a Major League game, ended up in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
The plan is for Gordon to remain a starter, and he said he was told to speed up his curveball, something that hovered below 70 mph in his first two Major League starts.
Gordon was thankful for the opportunity to get another taste of the big leagues.
"It was an unbelievable experience," he said. "My first 12 years of playing Minor League ball with no callup, I almost lost a sense of what I was playing for. It turned into just getting that paycheck, provide for the family. And then I got called up at Texas. It kind of lit that fire back up. I was running off that fire.
"And to get another chance at it was unbelievable, because you don't know. You don't know in this game. You don't know if it is going to happen. But the body's been feeling good, it's been holding up for me. I still enjoy the game. And when this opportunity popped up, it was unbelievable. I'm grateful, thankful, but hopefully it's not done. Got to go down to Scranton and put some work in."
Nunez continues to impress with play
NEW YORK -- Of course Alex Rodriguez was the lightning rod in this Subway Series. This time, however, he merely served as motivation for a teammate.
Before the first game of this series on Friday, Rodriguez had called Mets shortstop Jose Reyes the world's greatest player. But after the Yankees' 5-2 win Saturday before a Citi Field record crowd of 42,042, the greatest player through two games in this series was playing shortstop for the other New York team.
Eduardo Nunez starred again Saturday, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run, making him 7-for-8 in this series. Mets second baseman Justin Turner was responsible for the lone out, robbing Nunez of another base hit by making a diving catch up the middle.
"Nunez is unbelievable. He could easily be 8-for-8," Rodriguez said. "I think all the Reyes talk I had yesterday, maybe he took it a little personal. He's been incredible."
Reyes exited after two innings Saturday with tightness in his left hamstring. With Reyes gone, and with Derek Jeter making the first of two rehab starts at Double-A Trenton, Nunez assumed the lead role fittingly.
Nunez is hitting .339, and has started all 17 games at short since Jeter went on the disabled list June 14 with a strained right calf. With the captain's return likely coming Monday in Cleveland, Nunez's brief but successful stint as an everyday player will soon come to an end.
Manager Joe Girardi re-iterated that Jeter is the Yankees' everyday shortstop upon his return, but he added that he would try to find Nunez more playing time without a starting role.
"We would continue to try to get him at-bats," Girardi said. "That's what we need to do. Maybe start giving [Robinson Cano] a day off once in a while in these long stretches, or Jeet now. He's playing extremely well, and we'll try to keep him going."
Nunez accepts the fact that Sunday's Subway Series finale is likely his last game filling Jeter's shoes, and he knows that fading into the background becomes an adjustment all on its own.
"I feel better when I play every day because when you play every day you can say, 'OK, tomorrow is a new day,'" Nunez said. "But when you play sometimes, it's a little hard. But we can make adjustments, we can make adjustments. It's my job right now. When Jeter comes back, I'll have to make adjustments."
Robertson excited for All-Star possibility
NEW YORK -- Dave Robertson's sneaky fastball has tricked plenty of hitters this year, but he can't fool anyone by trying to stifle a grin when asked to consider the possibility of making the American League All-Star team.
"I think it'd be amazing," Robertson said. "It's something I'd love to get the opportunity to do. I'm trying not to get too excited."
In a Yankees bullpen that has seen Rafael Soriano and Joba Chamberlain subtracted, Robertson has been a key figure.
His eye-popping 14.3 strikeouts per nine innings have been a major credit, helping him post a 1.08 ERA entering Saturday's action, second lowest in the Majors to the Phillies' Antonio Bastardo (0.90).
"It's hard to put a finger on it, but I think the biggest thing is just throwing more strikes," Robertson said. "I've moved my hands a little bit, and it's helping to keep me from flying open. I'm staying closed and hitting spots."
Yankees catcher Russell Martin said that Robertson has been able to keep the ball down early in the count, then find an extra mile per hour when he needs it to record a strikeout, of which he's notched 53 thus far.
"He has that fastball that has late life," Martin said. "It kind of reminds me of when I was in L.A. [Hong-Chih] Kuo had the same thing. It's almost an invisible fastball. Guys swing through it because of how it comes at you. It's explosive."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that if it was his turn to fill out the All-Star staff, he'd heavily consider Robertson, though it might prove challenging to slip another Yankees pitcher on the roster.
"It can become difficult because each team has to be represented," Girardi said. "Robbie is most deserving, I believe, with the year that he's had. It can become tricky, but I would love to see him go. I really believe he deserves to go."
If Robertson doesn't get selected for the trip to Arizona, he has a tentative backup plan to spend the All-Star break relaxing in Connecticut with his wife, Erin. But Robertson's travel plans are definitely flexible.
"I'd love to go out there, see the Home Run Derby, all that," Robertson said. "Nothing's set in stone. I guess we'll see."
Wade finding a home in Yankees' bullpen
NEW YORK -- Cory Wade's gamble is paying off. Opting out of his contract with the Rays organization last month in search of a big league chance, the right-hander seems to have found a home in the Yankees' bullpen.
The 28-year-old pitched a scoreless inning in Friday's 5-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field, his sixth scoreless frame since inking a big league contract with the Bombers on June 15.
"Luckily, I got the opportunity with Tampa to show teams that I was healthy, which is good," Wade said. "It didn't work out there, but I was able to come here and help the team."
After a sharp 2008 campaign with the Dodgers, posting a 2.27 ERA, Wade struggled the next season and spent most of the year in the Minors before undergoing right shoulder surgery in March 2010.
At the time, Dodgers adviser Charlie Hough warned Wade it might take a full year to get back to top form, something Wade said he had to accept while his 84-mph fastballs were getting smacked around at Triple-A Albuquerque.
"He told me when I had the surgery, don't expect to be 100 percent right after," Wade said. "You're just going to have to take your knocks and draw it up with what you have. He said it would take a full year, and he hit it right on the nose."
His velocity now back, Wade began the year with Triple-A Durham, going 2-1 with a 1.23 ERA in 21 relief outings. The Rays didn't have a spot for Wade, but Yankees pro scouting director Billy Eppler noticed Wade's numbers while looking to help out an injury-ravaged bullpen.
"In Durham, they weren't going to call me up, so we made the decision to opt out and take the chance," Wade said. "I figured there were going to be some teams looking, but at the same time, you never really know. I was a little nervous about it, but it has worked out.
"I'm going out and just trying to do whatever I can, whatever situation they put me in. If I have to mop up, pitch late in the game -- if I have to go get water. My job is to get the ball to [David Robertson and Mariano Rivera] and shorten the game as much as I can."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch. Matt Fortuna is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.