Holmes disputes Boone's claim he was only available in 'emergency' in Game 3

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The New York Yankees were without the services of All-Star reliever Clay Holmes on Saturday - according to manager Aaron Boone, at least.

Boone didn't call on Holmes in the ninth inning of Saturday's pivotal Game 3 against the Cleveland Guardians due to what Boone said was shoulder soreness. The skipper said postgame that Holmes, who pitched in the first two games of the series, was only available in an "emergency" situation to protect his shoulder, per SNY.

Instead of Holmes, Clarke Schmidt got the opportunity in the ninth and blew the save, allowing Oscar Gonzalez's two-run walk-off single that gave the Gaurdians a 6-5 win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five ALDS.

While Boone insisted Holmes wasn't in a position to pitch, the reliever contradicted that view and claimed he was ready to go.

"I prepared today to do my job. Sometimes those decisions aren't mine," Holmes told reporters postgame, per Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. "I feel like I'm available to pitch. Whenever my name is called, I'm ready to go out there and give it everything I've got.

"They asked and I said I was good to go if needed."

Some of Holmes' teammates were also surprised he wasn't used.

"He's our closer, so of course I was surprised," starter Luis Severino said, per SNY. "I don't know if he was down. There shouldn't be people down in the playoffs. That's something you guys need to ask Boonie ... to see what was going on there."

Holmes, who had a breakout season at the back of the Yankees' bullpen, didn't allow a run in his first two ALDS appearances. Boone said he "fully expects" the All-Star will be able to pitch in Sunday's Game 4.

Saturday's defeat marked the first time in 168 playoff games that the Yankees lost a postseason contest when leading by multiple runs entering the ninth inning, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

The Yankees must now beat Cleveland on Sunday to force the ALDS back to the Bronx for a winner-take-all Game 5.

Holmes disputes Boone's claim he was only available in 'emergency' in Game 3
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