mike francesa
Peter Ackermann | Asbury Park Press

The Yankees had better hope Clay Holmes is Clay Holmes again when he returns from the injured list.

At least that is Mike Francesa’s assessment. The WFAN legend tweeted as much after the Yankees’ 4-0 loss to the Blue Jays on Friday night. They have now lost two straight, five of six, eight of 10 and are 4-14 in their last 18.

“The Bombers’ lineup has desperately missed (Giancarlo) Stanton and (Matt) Carpenter, but the long-term problem is the bullpen,” Francesa tweeted. “A revitalized Holmes is the only answer.”

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Holmes was lights-out earlier this season while the Yankees raced out of the gate to a historic start, eventually overtaking Aroldis Chapman for the closer’s job. But Holmes has faltered recently before going on the IL with a balky back. And Chapman has again been a roller coaster ride. There aren’t many (any?) other reliable options in the bullpen either. And the starting pitching has been suspect as well.


Then again, the Yankees have been shut out four times in the last 10 games. Yes, getting Carpenter, Stanton and Harrison Bader back before the postseason should help. And Oswaldo Cabrera and Estevan Florial have been called up to provide a jolt. But others need to step up. Francesa is zeroing in on midseason trade acquisition Andrew Benintendi.

“Benintendi needs to wake up,” he tweeted. “He could have a feast in Yankee Stadium.”

The left-handed hitting Benintendi was brought in to replace hitless wonder Joey Gallo, now with the Dodgers. And he hasn’t done much better. Benintendi is hitting .188 with the Yankees after batting .320 in Kansas City for the Royals. And he has yet to hit a home run in pinstripes.

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James Kratch can be reached at [email protected]

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.