Clay Holmes’ recent struggles show Yankees have to consider options for closing games

ST. LOUIS — The frustrating thing for the Yankees Friday night is Clay Holmes was starting to look like himself again. The closer who was dominant in the first half of the season has now allowed runs to score in back-to-back appearances and blown the lead in four of his last 10 appearances. Friday night, however, he seemed to have the command of his sinker back only to get burned by Paul DeJong’s double to right field.

“Yeah, I definitely felt a lot better out there, but at the end of the day two runs scored and that’s really the only thing that matters,” Holmes said after the Yankees’ 4-3 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. “Nights like this, I guess, are kind of tough. Especially when you do feel pretty good. You got to make the most of those, especially with the one-run lead.”

This is the first stretch of struggles Holmes has had with the Yankees since they acquired him at the trade deadline in 2021. He worked his way into the closer role with his ridiculously good start to the season. Through his first 38 appearances, Holmes had allowed two earned runs with six walks and 40 strikeouts. He has allowed nine earned runs and has walked six in the last 7.1 innings pitched over eight appearances.

The Yankee bullpen, which was brilliant to start the season, has taken some hits. Aroldis Chapman has struggled. Chad Green and Michael King, who had an All-Star-worthy first half, are both lost for the rest of the year with injuries.

Still, the Yankees’ bullpen has the second lowest ERA (2.93) in the majors and batting average against (.208), both behind the Astros.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was adamant that Holmes is absolutely capable of getting through this stretch, but the Yankees …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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