The New York Yankees' bullpen allowed five runs in the last three innings after starting pitcher Luis Severino pitched six innings of two-run ball in Thursday's 7-3 loss to the Oakland A's.
Chasen Shreve allowed back-to-back home runs to Khris Davis and Coco Crisp that turned a tie game into a 4-2 deficit, and after New York got one run back in the bottom of the seventh inning, Johnny Barbato allowed a two-run home run to Chris Coghlan that made it 6-3.
"It was definitely shocking," Shreve said, according to the New York Daily News' Mark Feinsand. "I feel like I've been throwing the ball really well. I felt like I threw the ball really well tonight, they just jumped on two fastballs early."
Prior to Thursday, Shreve hadn't given up a run in six outings in 2016. The 23-year-old Barbato had pitched six scoreless innings before the series against Oakland, but allowed the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on Tuesday in addition to two runs on Thursday.
"We've been struggling and I want to go out there and put up a zero, especially in this situation, and it just didn't happen," Shreve said, according to Newsday's Erik Boland.
While the Yankees' bullpen leads the majors in K/9 rate (12.11), it ranks 15th in ERA and has the fourth-lowest left-on-base percentage (70.3 percent) in the majors, according to FanGraphs. Outside of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances, New York's relievers have a 4.73 ERA this year.
"I really believe there's a lot of talent in that room and we'll turn it around," manager Joe Girardi told Feinsand. "We're just going through a hard time right now and you have to fight through it."
The bullpen has a 4.79 ERA over the last seven days compared to the 2.19 ERA it collectively recorded before. Aroldis Chapman, currently serving a 30-game suspension stemming from a domestic incident, is still a couple of weeks away from returning. Chapman aside, Barbato is confident the bullpen will pick up.
"We will all click eventually,'' Barbato told Boland. "And it will be dangerous when that happens.''