Simon takes a look at both sides of the argument:
The best argument to why he should start: The Yankees were 22-16 when Gardner started against a left-handed pitcher, 9-11 when he didn't, and they were a significantly worse team both offensively and pitching-wise.Their are valid points on both sides, but if I'm managing this team I'm starting Brett Gardner everyday.
Gardner didn't start the last six times the opponent threw a lefty starter against the Yankees in the regular season, all Yankees losses.
One argument against it: Gardner struggled to get on base against left-handed pitching in the last two months of the season (April-July: .391 OBP, August-October: .333 OBP) and Francisco Liriano is VERY tough on lefties (A 52:4 strikeout-walk total).
Gardner's presence on the bench would also give Joe Girardi multiple options for use late in games, either batting against the back end of the Twins bullpen, pinch-running, or coming in for defense.
First of all, both of them have put up very similar against lefties this year (Kearns: .252/.345/.395; Gardner: .252/.373/.353) so you're not gaining much, if anything, offensively with Kearns in the lineup. Then, on the other side of the ball, Kearns (-5 UZR/150) is clearly a downgrade from Gardner (39.6 UZR/150). So, to me, this should be an easy decision for Girardi.