Brett Gardner called Derek Jeter “irreplaceable,” but he, at leadoff and Eduardo Nunez, Jeter’s replacement at short, did just fine.
For one night anyway.
Gardner went 3-for-4, reaching base four times as he also drew a walk.
Nunez went 2-for-4, including an RBI single in his first at-bat.
“It’s very important for me to play well,” Nunez said.
Girardi was happy with both replacement parts.
“He’s been really good since that first month, he’s been on a roll for us,” Girardi said of Gardner, now 45-for-129 (.349) in his last 46 games since April. 26. “He’s swung the bat. He’s done what we expect him to do.”
Nunez hit the ball hard and, perhaps more important given the way some of his throws have been in his limited action in the field this year, he didn’t have any errors.
“Just play the way he’s capable of,” Girardi said of his expectations for Nunez. “Don’t try to be Derek Jeter, just be Eduardo Nunez. You’re an exciting young player that has a lot of speed that can do some things. Just stay within yourself. I think young players can get in trouble when they try to replace someone as opposed to just being the type of player that you are.”