New York Yankees closer Clay Holmes (1-1) finally gave up an earned run on Monday, ending his bid to become the first pitcher in baseball history to post a 0.00 ERA across an entire season. Holmes allowed four runs in the ninth inning, causing them to lose 5-4 to the Seattle Mariners, ending their seven-game win streak.

New York pitcher Marcus Stroman, who started the contest, defended Holmes after the game, via his X account.

“Clay Holmes is the best closer in baseball,” he said. “Thankful to have him down there in the ninth for us day in and day out. Truly love this squad. It’s a pleasure to show up and compete daily with my brothers. Grateful for the home crowd. Energy always on a million. On to the next!”

Holmes is still tied for the MLB lead in saves, with 13. The 31-year-old also has a 1.74 ERA, 23 strikeouts, and a 1.21 WHIP across 21.1 innings pitched.

Stroman started the game, tossing 7 1/3 innings with just one run allowed. Luke Weaver finished the eighth inning with no issues before Holmes took over in the ninth, which is when disaster struck. The former Pittsburgh Pirate allowed four runs on four hits and two walks in just 0.2 innings before Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulled the plug. Holmes sounded off on the rough outing, via ESPN.

“It was one of those outings where I feel like my stuff was there,” he said. “Maybe trying to go for a little too much chase with a couple of guys there. Some balls found some holes and it didn’t go our way there.”

It may be jarring for New York fans to witness Holmes implode after a near-perfect run to start the season. Is this something they should worry about, or is it a blip on the radar?

Holmes is the best closer the Yankees could hope for, but he's still human

New York Yankees relief pitcher Clay Holmes (35) hands the ball to manager Aaron Boone (17) after being taken out of the game against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium.
© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

If Yankee fans suddenly become paranoid about Holmes' abilities, they're delusional. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound hurler has been nothing but reliable since arriving in New York in 2021. After getting traded from Pittsburgh that season, he posted a 1.61 ERA, followed by 2.54 and 2.86 marks in 2022 and 2023, respectively. The right-hander also has 57 saves out of 69 total opportunities in pinstripes.

While this loss will be a mild annoyance in Yankeeland, the Bronx Bombers are still in the driver's seat. New York is 33-16, which tops the AL, and is only 1.5 games worse than the Philadelphia Phillies' record, who lead the entire MLB.

It's a long season, and bumps in the road are inevitable, even for the best teams. Some fans forget this in the heat of the moment, such as @MLBONFAX. The X user replied “Best closer in baseball wouldn't blow a save. Delete this,” to Stroman's tweet, proving that some fans should take a moment to cool off before sharing their thoughts online.

Even Mariano Rivera, the greatest closer in history, blew a crucial save opportunity in the 2001 World Series. Closers blowing saves is just as likely as death and taxes.

Expect Holmes and the Yankees to rebound from this loss, as they continue their hot start to the season.