BOSTON — Suddenly, Jose Reyes is only the second-worst New York reliever this week.
At least the Mets shortstop got some outs in his pitching debut against the Nationals on Tuesday night. Jonathan Holder’s Thursday night was worse. He faced seven batters in the third inning of a 15-7 loss to the Red Sox and all seven reached base and scored.
According to baseball-reference.com, Holder became the first Yankee to face seven batters and not record an out since Bob Kammeyer in 1979. Kammeyer surrendered eight runs in an appearance and never pitched in the majors again.
Holder’s fate won’t be as bad, but it was stunning.
So stunning, in fact, that it seemed to catch the Yankees off guard. Holder didn’t even get a mound visit until five straight batters had reached and he had made a terrible misplay.
Holder came in to relieve CC Sabathia, who lasted just three innings, but left with a 4-2 lead.
A leadoff walk by Holder to Jackie Bradley Jr. was followed by a double to left by Mookie Betts.
Andrew Benintendi followed with a sharp comebacker. With Bradley caught off third, Holder threw to Miguel Andujar at third instead of running at Bradley. The speedy center fielder took off for home and beat Andujar’s throw to the plate.
“Looking back, two things killed me: The leadoff walk hurt really bad, and that play, I could probably make a better decision running him back to third there,” Holder said. “[Bradley’s] back was at home and he was facing toward third. I tried to get it to third as quick as possible.”
Aaron Boone said he didn’t mind Holder’s decision-making on the play, since he got Bradley to freeze initially. The manager pinned some of the blame on Andujar being too slow to throw home. Boston manager Alex Cora credited Bradley.
“[Bradley] got caught in no-man’s land there and he made a decision,’’ Cora said. “They threw behind him there [and] he took off. It went from a bad base-running play to a great slide. It brought energy to the stadium, to the dugout.’’
Later in the inning, Benintendi took off for second and Holder froze before throwing late to Gleyber Torres for a bizarre stolen base.
Holder said the two plays didn’t get him rattled.
“Mentally, no,’’ Holder said when asked if they flustered him. “They definitely let them get in a scenario where they could take advantage of having two men on, no outs and already scored.”
Ex-Yankee Steve Pearce then drilled a three-run homer over the Green Monster in left and the rout was on.
A double to center by J.D. Martinez was followed by Ian Kinsler’s run-scoring single and Eduardo Nunez hit an RBI double to left.
Boone finally removed Holder, who hadn’t given up more than one earned run in an outing since being recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on April 21. His ERA jumped from 2.06 to 3.50 in one night.
Boone said he thought of taking Holder out “maybe a batter prior’’ to when he did, but he didn’t want to burn his bullpen — especially Luis Cessa.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop the bleeding,’’ Boone said.
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