Sunday, October 1 2023
May 3, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes (35) reacts during the ninth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Yankee Stadium.

Yankee fans had deja vu with manager Aaron Boone’s bullpen decisions late in the team’s extra-inning win over the Guardians on Wednesday.

Just two days since Clay Holmes blew a save after Boone pulled Domingo German in the ninth inning, the six-year manager did it again.

Ron Marinaccio pitched a clean eighth inning to keep the score tied 2-2. In the ninth, he was called to start the inning and got Andres Gimenez to ground out softly and Will Brennan to strike out. With the bases empty and two outs, Boone decided to go with Holmes to finish off the inning.

“With Marinaccio going yesterday, I wanted to keep him at one inning,” Boone explained after the game. ”Obviously, I was willing to use him in two ups there. Holmes is going to have to finish that game in the next inning anyway. I wanted to get him in there with two outs against the righty to make a better setup for going into the 10th knowing I’d had to get four outs with Holmes there. That’s what went into the decision.”

Holmes started his outing by allowing a Myles Straw hit into left field where a diving Isiah Kiner-Falefa misplayed it, allowing the Guardians outfielder to reach second for a double. A pinch-hitting Oscar Gonzalez would then give Cleveland the lead with a bloop single that landed between IKF and Harrison Bader.

The Yankees would tie the game in the bottom of the ninth and eventually win it in the 10th, but Wednesday’s appearance raises more questions about Holmes’ effectiveness in the closer role of late.

The 30-year-old has not been as dominant as he was early last year when he made his first All-Star appearance. His struggles have persisted long enough that Michael King is seemingly being prepped to pitch more frequently in the near future.

Despite Holmes’ ineffectiveness, Boone continues to place faith in his closer saying he had “zero hesitation” going to him in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game.

“The one hesitation I had was do I squeeze Marinaccio through one more hitter and hand it over to Clay in the tenth. That was the only calculus,” Boone said. “Do I stay a little bit longer with Marinaccio knowing he went yesterday. That was the only hesitation.”

Boone shrugged off the bloop single, saying “that’s baseball” and Holmes shouldn’t be blamed for it. However, the Yankees manager did acknowledge that they need to work with Holmes to get him back to form.

“Obviously, we’ve got to get him to where he’s the Clay we know,” Boone said. “But he’s a lot closer to that than the noise.”

In 12 appearances this season, Holmes has converted 4-of-6 save opportunities but holds an 0-2 record and a 4.50 ERA. He’s allowed five runs in 10 innings this season.

Source: Yahoo Sports


Middleton calls Correa ‘a cheater’ after fanning shortstop


Cubs vs. Nationals Highlights

Check Also