Sunday afternoon, the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (Yankees) beat the Rochester Red Wings (Twins) to clinch a spot in the International League postseason (SWB 3, ROC 1). Ex-Twins farmhand Chris Parmelee hit the game-tying homer, then drove in the go-ahead run with a single.
The star of Sunday’s clinching game was not Parmelee, however. It was Scranton closer Jonathan Holder, who entered the game in the sixth inning and recorded an old school four-inning save. Goose Gossage would be proud. Check out Holder’s line score:
Holy moly. Twelve strikeouts in four innings? You folks are smart. You can do the math. Holder recorded every single out on a strikeout. He actually came in and struck out the first 11 batters he faced. Here are the 11 straight strikeouts:
Among the players Holder struck out are Byron Buxton, Kennys Vargas, and John Ryan Murphy, all of whom have big league time. Rochester recorded one hit against Holder (by Murphy) and it was an infield pop-up that dropped in because none of the infielders called for it. That’s Triple-A baseball for you.
“Ever since college, my approach has been that you can’t get outs by throwing balls,” said Holder to MiLB.com’s Michael Leboff after the game. “I’ve always been a guy that likes to pound the zone and trust the defense behind me. Getting swings and misses is a plus, but letting hitters get themselves out is my game plan.”
The major league record is 10 consecutive strikeouts by Hall of Famer Tom Seaver. It’s unclear what the minor league record is, but it’s safe to say striking out 11 in a row doesn’t happen all that often. Holder was locked in and he mowed down the Red Wings en route to clinching a postseason berth.
Holder, 23, was New York’s sixth round pick out of Mississippi State in 2014. He has a 1.65 ERA with an ungodly 101/7 K/BB in 65 1/3 relief innings this season while climbing from Single-A to Triple-A. MLB.com does not rank Holder among the Yankees’ top 30 prospects.
Source: CBS Sports / WATCH: Yankees prospect strikes out 11 straight batters during four-inning save