New York Yankees

New York Yankees

New York Yankees

CLEVELAND, OHIO - OCTOBER 15: Amed Rosario #1 of the Cleveland Guardians celebrates after scoring a run during the ninth inning any in game three of the American League Division Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

CLE Leads Series 2-1

Questions abound about the Yankees bullpen and decision making after the Cleveland Guardians rallied from down 5-3 to plate three runs in a stunning bottom of the ninth to swipe Game 3 of this Best-of-Five ALDS. The Guardians now lead the series 2-1 and can send the Yankees home early with a win Sunday night in Progressive Field.

Already beleaguered by injuries in the pen, Yankees skipper Aaron Boone decided not to bring in Clay Holmes for the ninth inning, instead opting to stay with Wandy Peralta, who had pitched 1-1/3 innings already, and watched those plans blow in stunning fashion.

The Guardians used the kind of small ball technique that led them to a surprising AL Central title and a Wild Card series win versus Tampa Bay. First Myles Straw and Steven Kwan both singled with one out. With the Cleveland faithful starting to rock, Boone removed a tiring Peralta for Clark Schmidt, not Holmes.

Amed Rosario then slapped a soft single to left, scoring Straw to cut the Yankees lead down to 5-4. Jose Ramirez followed with an infield single. Finally, with two out, Oscar Gonzalez won it with a sharp single to center on a 1-2 pitch, driving in both Kwan and Rosario to send Cleveland to a thrilling 6-5 victory.

The loss dampened what was looking like a huge Yankee night. Both Aaron Judge and Oswaldo Cabrera hit two-run bombs that catapulted the Yankees to a 4-2 lead. Harrison Bader’s solo shot in the seventh padded that lead to 5-3.

Luis Severino also gave the Yankees 5.2 solid innings, allowing only three runs on eight hits. He gave New York the chance. But all anyone could talk about was the blown opportunity and why Boone didn’t bring in Holmes, who is his closer.

  • Clay Holmes Speaks on Not Pitching Ninth Inning

    Clay Holmes say he was ready to pitch on Saturday, but his number was never called. The Yankees held a 5-3 lead in the ninth, only to watch Cleveland storm back and win it.

  • Luis Severino Surprised Holmes wasn't Pitching

    Luis Severino, even if he had no intention to do so, threw manager Aaron Boone under the proverbial bus by stating he was surprised Holmes wasn’t pitching the ninth.

  • Boone: "Emergency Situation?"

    When speaking on the matter, Aaron Boone said that Holmes was only available in an emergency situation. A statement that is hard to fathom when the Yankees are up 5-3 with a chance to go up 2-1 in the American League Division Series.

  • Do the Yankees have a Closer?

    The fact that Holmes wasn’t available combined with Aroldis Chapman’s absence from the roster makes one wonder if the Yankees might be in the market for a closer this winter. The Mets certainly would take notice.

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