ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Dee Gordon questioning J.A. Happ’s ability to pitch to certain spots led to the Yankees starter criticizing the Mariners second baseman’s reaction after getting hit on the wrist and being forced out of Thursday night’s game at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s the second time he threw up and by my head. So, you got to get the ball down,’’ Gordon said after the Yankees’ 3-1 victory. “If you can’t throw that pitch, don’t throw it. I got a family. So you need to get the ball down. That’s twice.’’
Happ understood Gordon was frustrated about having to leave the game but didn’t understand his reaction.
“He was potentially injured and I don’t know if he will miss time or what, but it was kind of an ignorant comment,’’ Happ told The Post before the Yankees opened a three-game series against the AL East-leading Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
“First of all, it wasn’t anywhere near where he indicated it was and I don’t have a reputation for that.’’
Happ was a teammate of reliever Tom Gordon and suggested the father give the son a refresher course about the game.
“I have played for a while so for him to say that …’’ Happ said. “I played with his dad [with the 2007-08 Phillies], so he can be reminded how the game has been played for the last 150 years.’’
Like most pitchers, Happ needs to work inside in order to get hitters out away. It’s a pitching style that has been around forever and one that isn’t going to change any time soon.
“I was disappointed he chose to use those words and that language,’’ Happ said. “It’s a non-issue for anybody who knows baseball, it’s a non-issue.’’
Happ was hopeful a day away from being injured would help change Gordon’s feelings.
“Maybe he feels differently now that he has had time to cool off,’’ Happ said. “At least I hope so.’’
In parts of 13 big league seasons, Happ has hit 34 batters and isn’t known as a head-hunter.
With staff ace Luis Severino on the injured list since the start of the season and no date even being speculated when the right-hander will be able to work a big league game, along with Masahiro Tanaka not pitching like a No. 1 starter and James Paxton on the IL, it has been left to Domingo German, CC Sabathia and Happ to lead a rotation that includes neophyte Jonathan Loaisiga.
Going into Thursday night’s outing in which he didn’t allow a run in five innings and only one hit, the 36-year-old lefty was 0-3 with a 7.65 ERA in four starts at Yankee Stadium and aware of the dreadful numbers.
“I think I just had some frustration from that last start,’’ Happ said of 7-3 loss to the Twins on May 4 in The Bronx in which he gave up four runs and seven hits (two homers) in 5 ²/₃ innings. “Pitching with an edge or whatever you want to call it. I was definitely focused out there. I do think that helped a little bit.’’
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