New York Yankees fans are down bad after Monday night's loss to the Cleveland Guardians. Holding on to a 2-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth with Domingo Germán just 88 pitches deep, it felt like the Bombers were about to snap a three-game losing streak.
But then manager Aaron Boone decided to insert himself into the festivities. Germán got the first out of the inning and then surrendered a single, which prompted Boone to remove him from the game. He called on Clay Holmes to face Amed Rosario, citing Germán's "struggles with the home run ball."
Problem is, Rosario doesn't hit home runs. And Boone was pleased with Germán's control and efficiency that late in the game ... but he still went to Holmes, whose command issues have felled him since last August.
Holmes induced a grounder off the bat of Rosario but made a fielding error. Then Ramirez singled. Then Josh Naylor singled. Then in came Wandy Peralta, who's also been a bit off and potentially dealing with an injury. Still no Michael King, who hadn't pitched since Thursday! What're we doing?!
That didn't stop Yankees Twitter from going after Holmes despite the fact the loss was 100% on Boone for his questionable (at best) decision making. Also, is this even a smile?
Yankees Twitter goes after Clay Holmes after Monday's loss to Guardians
There's no defending Holmes' performance over his last 34 innings of work (5.29 ERA, 4.16 FIP), but to suggest he's anything comparable to Aroldis Chapman is insulting and toxic. Chapman not only failed this team in the playoffs in unforgivable fashion, but he also abandoned the Yankees last season thanks to a tattoo infection and his unwillingness to prepare for the ALDS because he wasn't going to be guaranteed a postseason roster spot.
Chapman's blown games are branded in every Yankees fan's memory. Holmes, who has been here for less than two years, has yet to even establish himself as a full-time, reliable back-end reliever. He was also picked up off the scrap heap in Pittsburgh after being unpitchable, and turned his career around in impressive fashion.
Chapman landed in the Bronx because Brian Cashman opted to capitalize on the left-hander's decreased price tag in trade talks because he was about to be suspended for violating the league's domestic violence policy. These pitchers (and humans) are not the same.
And what do you know! Chapman's magically back on track with the Kansas City Royals. This guy is the WORST. And even if Holmes was smiling after Monday's meltdown, does it even hold a candle to Chapman's visible, televised smirk after being walked off in the 2019 ALCS?
The Yankees are playing .500 baseball with a decimated roster and a mediocre manager. Yankees fans being upset isn't out of the question. Trying to villainize someone like Holmes, who shouldn't have even been in the game, is a classic case of Yankees Twitter taking it too far once again.
Can't wait to see what's next from this bunch.