SACRAMENTO -- Big league success may be on hold for pitcher Dan Straily but he's staying dialed in. Like most Minor Leaguers Straily worked incredibly hard to be a successful Major League-caliber player. It appeared he had finally achieved his dream after going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his first three starts with the Oakland A's.For now though, he is stuck in the Minor Leagues. On Monday, Straily was optioned to Triple-A to make room on Oakland's active roster for Brett Anderson. Then on Wednesday, Bartolo Colon got suspended 50-games for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drugs policy. Straily would have been ready to take Colon's spot in the rotation but the A's couldn't call him up because of baseball's 10-day rule. He isn't eligible to return to Oakland until August 31."My agent talked to me about it and said it is one of those rules put in place to protect players," Straily said on Thursday. "Whatever happens it is out of our control."Straily leads all of professional baseball with 191 strikeouts. He started the year in Double-A. The 10-day scenario might be one of the least crazy turns of events in Straily's career after riding a wave of incredible success in 2012. As the obvious choice to return to the A's starting rotation after Colon's suspension, being highly coveted is new to Straily who was told he wasn't good enough to make it early in his collegiate career. "It's a crazy turn of events," Straily said. "You can always use other people's comments to motivate you. It happens to other people and it has been a motivator my whole life." Straily, 23, believes everything happens for a reason. He isn't sweating the details that are currently holding him back. Either way, he says he is happy to be pitching in a playoff run -- whether it be in Oakland with the A's, or Sacramento with the River Cats. No matter where he happens to be he isn't changing his approach on the mound. "I feel like you have to earn the right to belong," he said. "I feel like I've just got to keep working."Straily's most recent start came on Thursday in Sacramento. He only threw five innings and struggled a little with his fastball command. He was pitching on a full week's rest. Struggles aside, he only allowed one run on three hits. He was held to 82 pitches, a telling sign the A's organization believes he has much more important innings ahead of him."Just trying to keep his arm fresh for when the big league team calls," River Cats pitching coach Scott Emerson explained on Thursday after Straily's start. "To go out there and not have his best command and only give up one run to what I consider a pretty good hitting Triple-A team is a testament to him."Last year Straily threw 160 23 innings in the regular season for the Stockton Ports. He has thrown a total of 160 13 innings in 2012. "There's a lot of pitching left to be done," Straily said. "I just go out there whenever I'm handed the baseball and compete until they take it away from me." At this point the young righty is playing with house money. He may keep it simple and not sweat the small stuff off the mound, but his strong work ethic and character are second to none. "He's worked hard to achieve everything he's achieved," River Cats manager Darren Bush says. "It hasn't been something where all of a sudden something happens. It's a tribute to him, the pitching coaches in the organization, the pitching philosophy, he's just like a sponge.""It's one of the things you prepare for your whole professional career -- being in the big leagues," Straily said. "You have to remember that between the lines the game is the same." When the 10 days are up Straily will be ready for the call. He could be recalled even sooner if a player goes on the disabled list. Don't think Straily will be sitting by his phone waiting for it to ring. He'd rather spend time honing his game. "He's been on a wild a ride," Bush said. "He's a good guy, a good person with good character. To see those guys have success you've got to be very happy for them."
C.C. Sabathia couldn't save the Yankees' 2017 season. And now he has a decision to make.
After nine seasons in New York, the 37-year-old hits the free agent market this winter.
With career earnings nearing $250 million and a 2009 World Series ring already on his resume, would the Vallejo-native consider coming home to play for the A's? That's a question that was posed to NBCSportsBayArea.com Insider Joe Stiglich last week.
While it's a possibility, based on comments after Saturday's ALCS Game 7 loss to the Astros, it sounds like Sabathia doesn't want to leave The Bronx.
“I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great. This is my home, and I want to see this thing through," Sabathia told reporters, according to The Associated Press.
HOUSTON -- Charlie Morton and Lance McCullers combined on a three-hitter, Jose Altuve and Evan Gattis homered and the Houston Astros reached the World Series, blanking the New York Yankees 4-0 Saturday night in Game 7 of the AL Championship Series.
Just four years removed from their third straight 100-loss season in 2013, the Astros shut down the Yankees for two straight games after dropping three in a row in the Bronx.
Next up for the Astros: Game 1 of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night. Los Angeles opened as a narrow favorite, but Houston aces Dallas Keuchel and ALCS MVP Justin Verlander will have plenty of rest before the matchup begins at Dodger Stadium.
Houston has never won even a single World Series game. The only previous time the Astros made it this far, they were a National League team when they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in 2005.
Now, manager A.J. Hinch's club has a chance to win that elusive first title, while trying to boost a region still recovering from Hurricane Harvey.
Houston improved to 6-0 at Minute Maid Park in these playoffs and became the fifth team in major league history to win a seven-game postseason series by winning all four of its home games.
Morton bounced back from a loss in Game 3 to allow two hits over five scoreless innings. Starter-turned-postseason reliever McCullers limited the Yankees to just one hit while fanning six over the next four.
CC Sabathia entered the game 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts this season after a Yankees loss. But he struggled with command and was gone with one out in the fourth inning.
Houston was up 2-0 in fifth when former Yankees star Brian McCann came through for the second straight game by hitting a two-run double after snapping an 0-for-20 skid with an ground-rule RBI double to give Houston its first run on Friday night.
The Yankees, trying to reach the World Series for the first time since 2009, lost an elimination game for the first time this season after winning their first four in these playoffs. New York struggled on the road this postseason, with this loss dropping the team to 1-6.
After going 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position through the first three innings, the Astros got on the board with no outs in the fourth with the 405-foot shot by Gattis off Sabathia which made it 1-0.
Altuve launched a ball off Tommy Kahnle into the seats in right field with one out in the fifth for his fifth homer this postseason. It took a while for him to see that it was going to get out, and held onto his bat until he was halfway to first base before flipping it and trotting around the bases as chants of "MVP" rained down on him.
Altuve finished 8 for 25 with two homers and four RBIs in the ALCS after hitting .533 with three homers and four RBIs in the ALDS against Boston.
Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel hit consecutive singles after that before Kahnle struck out Gattis. McCann's two-strike double, which rolled into the corner of right field, cleared the bases to push the lead to 4-0. Gurriel slid to avoid the tag and remained on his belly in a swimming pose at the plate for a few seconds after he was called safe.
It was just the second Game 7 in franchise history for the Astros, who dropped Game 7 to the Cardinals in the 2004 NLCS 13 years ago today.
Sabathia allowed five hits and one run while walking three in 3 1/3 innings. He wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a Game 3 win and just 36 of the 65 pitches he threw were strikes.
Morton got into trouble in the fifth, and the Yankees had runners at the corners with one out. Bregman fielded a grounder hit by Todd Frazier and made a perfect throw home to allow McCann to tag Greg Bird and preserve Houston's lead. McCann held onto the ball despite Bird's cleat banging into his forearm. Chase Headley grounded out after that to end the inning.
A night after Springer kept Frazier from extra-bases with a leaping catch, Judge returned the favor on a ball hit by Yuli Gurriel. Judge sprinted, jumped and reached into the stands to grab his long fly ball before crashing into the wall and falling to the ground for the first out of the second inning.
Springer had another nifty catch in this one, jumping in front of Marwin Gonzalez at the wall in left-center to grab a ball hit by Bird for the first out of the seventh inning.