Let’s call it like it is. The New York Yankees turned in an embarrassing performance against the Orioles on Saturday.
They were no-hit through six innings and didn’t break up the bid until Gleyber Torres came through with an infield single that drove in a run in the seventh.
For a while, it looked like the Yankees were going to go down without a whimper. Then, however, Joey Gallo decided to snap out of an 0-for-17 funk with a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game.
The crowd was back in the game. The Yankees had all the momentum. What could possibly prevent them from winning this one?
Enter Aroldis Chapman, who was merely asked to keep the scored tied against a lowly Orioles offense to give the Yankees’ offense a chance to walk it off for the second time in as many days.
Unfortunately, Chapman imploded. Though he only gave up one run, he took the loss and his latest unwatchable performance only underscores how important Clay Holmes will be for the bullpen down the stretch.
The Yankees are going to need more from Clay Holmes, and less from Aroldis Chapman, in the final month of the season.
There’s no need to spend too much time on Chapman. We know what we’re going to get from him at this point. Either he’s unhittable or can’t get anyone out. There’s no in between and fans just have to live with it. There’s nothing else to say on the matter.
With that out of the way, however, let’s show some love to arguably the lone positive from Saturday’s loss: Clay Holmes.
Holmes was once again nails in relief, helping the Yankees escape a bases loaded jam in the top of the fifth inning. The 28-year-old right-hander struck out all four batters he faced and has now allowed just two earned runs over 12 appearances since he was acquired from Pittsburgh.
This comes a night after Holmes saved the Yankees’ bacon in the 11th inning on Friday night when he struck out Kelvin Gutierrez with runners on second and third. A few minutes later, Giancarlo Stanton won the game with an RBI single.
You can only eviscerate Chapman’s ineptitude and the Yankees’ offense insistence on playing down to their competition so many times in one season. Those performances are going to happen every now and again.
However, don’t lose sight of the fact that Holmes is emerging as a reliable weapon out of the bullpen for Aaron Boone.
With Chapman always capable of falling on his face and Zack Britton likely headed for elbow surgery, Holmes is going to be absolutely pivotal to the Yankees bullpen if they’re able to squeak into the playoffs.