Parker: 'It sucks we didn't win'


Parker: 'It sucks we didn't win'


OAKLAND -- Entering the Oakland stretch of the Battle of the Bay series, the A's had everything working for them. They had the momentum after sweeping the top team in baseball, the Dodgers. They had the home field advantage -- the Giants hadn't won a game here since June 24, 2009. They even said they were excited to take on their cross-bay rivals. They got off to a great start, scoring three runs on two-time Cy Young-award winner Tim Lincecum. They even had a two-run lead going into the ninth inning -- they had it all working. Then it all came crashing down. I guess that's the way the cookie crumbles. The A's new closer Ryan Cook gave up four runs without recording an out in the ninth inning, as the Giants went on to win 5-4. Cook has been a phenomenal find for the A's. The right-handed pitcher, 23, had been rock-solid since taking over the closer's role, going four for four in save opportunities. Entering Friday, he had only allowed a run in 29 of his 30 appearances. "Cook is not going to go the whole year and not blow a save," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Too bad it had to happen tonight." Cook worked himself into trouble immediately. He walked Buster Posey on four-straight pitches, then put the tying run on first by walking Pablo Sandoval. Next, Brandon Belt -- who had been hit in the hand by a pitch in the seventh inning -- came to the plate. He laced a ball to left field that landed just outside the outstretched glove of Collin Cowgill, who laid out for the ball. Posey and Sandoval came around to score, tying the game at three."It's been my hex all year, putting guys on," Cook said. "It came back to bite me tonight."I knew he was a little bit erratic," Belt said of Cook. "If he threw anything in the strike zone I was going to pounce on it.The A's may have lost more than the lead on Belt's double. Cowgill injured his left ankle on the diving attempt. He could have possibly played it safe and let the ball fall, keeping it in front of him. That would have only allowed one run to score, preserving the lead. But as Melvin explained it would have still left the A's in a bad situation. "I don't have any problem with him trying to catch that ball." Melvin said of the diving attempt by Cowgill. "If he catches that ball it's an entirely different game."After Cook departed the game, Sean Doolittle entered and gave up RBI singles to Hector Sanchez and Gregor Blanco, giving the Giants a 5-3 lead. Both runs were charged to Cook. The ninth inning meltdown for the A's lead to the Giants snapping a six-game losing streak in Oakland. They had plenty of opportunities to put the game away too. In the first inning, they had Lincecum on the ropes. With three runs already scored, and the bases loaded with no outs, Lincecum struck out Brandon Moss, Kurt Suzuki, and Cliff Pennington to escape the inning. After the third run scored, Lincecum became a completely different pitcher. He retired 17 of the next 19 batters he faced, striking out eight.I was trying to channel that madness and stop worrying about the expletive happening behind me, Lincecum said. If there were any positives to point to for the A's, it's the performance of Jarrod Parker. The 23-year-old righty, was inline to win the game allowing just one run in six innings."I got outs and made pitches I need to," Parker said. "Overall it was a good outing. Sucks we didn't win. Obviously losing is not what we want, and it's a tough game but we'll bounce back."

Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'


Vallejo-native, free agent-to-be Sabathia after Yankees loss: 'This is my home'

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 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.

Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


Astros win two straight vs Yankees, advance to take on Dodgers in World Series


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.

Combined, they throttled the wild-card Yankees one last time in Houston. Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and their New York teammates totaled just three runs in the four road games.

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.