Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium was the first time in the modern era that a team with a…..
The Yankees still have the best record in baseball, but Tuesday night’s loss to the Reds was certainly a new low point for this club.
With a three-run lead against a last-place team, and the best reliever in baseball coming in to close it out, the Yankees were sitting pretty entering the ninth inning on Tuesday night.
The meltdown that ensued, leading to a 4-3 loss against the lowly Reds, was more than just improbable.
It was historic.
Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium was the first time in the modern era that a team with a sub-.400 winning percentage came back from three-plus runs down in the ninth inning to defeat an opponent with a .700-plus winning percentage (minimum 50 games into the season), per Stats By STATS.
It also marked New York’s first loss in 2022 when leading after the eighth inning. They were 48-0 entering Tuesday night’s game in those situations.
It didn’t take long for Cincinnati to begin mounting their ninth-inning comeback and it was clear from the first pitch Clay Holmes threw that he didn’t have his best stuff.
After his first pitch nearly hit Tommy Pham, Holmes walked the outfielder, putting the leadoff runner on. After Joey Votto singled, Tyler Stephenson was hit by a pitch, loading the bases.
A mound visit only did so much as Holmes proceeded to surrender an RBI single to Tyler Naquin. Four pitches later, Holmes plunked Kyle Farmer, allowing the Reds to cut the deficit to one run.
At that point, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called to the bullpen, summoning left-hander Wandy Peralta in an impossible spot. Peralta nearly got out of the bases loaded, nobody out situation. Back-to-back ground balls kept Cincinnati off the board, putting New York in a position to tightrope their way to a win.
Down to their final strike, however, the Reds delivered the decisive blow.
Jonathan India singled to center field on an 0-2 pitch from Peralta, plating two runs. His go-ahead, two-run single was the game-winning hit as Cincinnati’s Alexis Diaz closed it out in the bottom of the ninth.
All four runs in the ninth were charged to Holmes, who had previously allowed two earned runs all season. His ERA jumped up from 0.46 (in 39.1 innings pitched) to 1.37 on the year.
His rare clunker, and first loss in 2022, was historic as well.
Stats By STATS also noted that Holmes is the first MLB pitcher to allow four-plus runs without getting an out after entering the game with a sub-0.50 ERA (across 30-plus innings pitched) since ERA became an official stat in 1913.
No pitcher is perfect, but Holmes had been so good and so consistent all year, it was stunning to see him struggle to this extent. The reliever told reporters in the clubhouse after the game that he never got a good grip on his sinker, failing to make an in-game adjustment on a humid night in the Bronx.
Asked if he’s concerned about his closer, who also blew a save over the weekend against the Red Sox in Boston, Boone didn’t bat an eye.
“I think this is an outlier,” Boone said. “We’ll certainly pay attention to it, but I don’t think it was anything more than him being out of whack tonight.”