New York Yankees players questioned manager Aaron Boone’s bullpen decision-making in Game 3 of the American League Division Series matchup against the Cleveland Guardians.
Luis Severino went 5 2/3 innings, striking out six and allowing three runs on eight hits. The Yankees were up 5-3 in the ninth inning. Boone went with Wandy Peralta and Clark Schmidt to try to shut down the door, but the Guardians scored three runs off the pitchers to win the game.
New York kept Clay Holmes, who had a 2.54 ERA in 62 appearances, in the bullpen.
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“He’s our closer, so of course I was surprised. I don’t know if he was down. There shouldn’t be people down in the playoffs,” Severino said after the game. “That’s something you guys need to ask Boonie or (pitching coach Matt) Blake to see what was going on there.”
Holmes said he was “somewhat” surprised not to get a chance to go out there and pitch.
“I mean, that’s some of the roles I’ve pitched in the last few days. But, maybe there’s more that goes into the decision,” he said.
GUARDIANS SCORE THREE RUNS IN NINTH TO PUT YANKEES ON BRINK OF ELIMINATION
Holmes added that he “woke up today preparing to pitch if needed.”
Boone explained his rationale after the game. He said that Holmes would’ve been able to pitch in an “emergency situation.”
“I mean, he was down there available, but we felt like it was … you know, we were putting him in a tough situation,” Boone said.
“I mean, part of the thing with him being available for this series was not really in a back-to-back situation yet. He just hadn’t thrown [anything] live or anything. So while he was pretty good today, and I fully expect him available tomorrow, it just felt like we needed to stay away there.”
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It’s unclear whether the Yankees being up one run in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and the bases loaded is an emergency.
Game 4 is set for Sunday night at 7:07 p.m. ET