Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports a handful of Athletics roster moves. First, the A’s have placed reliever Ryan Cook on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 8, due to a muscle strain in his right forearm. It’s Cook’s second stint on the DL this season as he missed the beginning of the season with inflammation in his right shoulder.
The A’s have sent starter Dan Straily down to Triple-A Sacramento as the 25-year-old right-hander struggled in his first seven starts, posting a 4.93 ERA in 38 1/3 innings due in large part to his allowing a league-leading nine home runs. Drew Pomeranz, who threw five shutout innings in the second game of Wednesday’s double-header against the Mariners, will remain in the rotation, taking Straily’s place.
To fill the two roster spots vacated by Cook and Straily, the A’s have promoted Joe Savery and Fernando Rodriguez from Triple-A. Savery had posted a 3.86 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of relief while Rodriguez posted a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings out of the ‘pen.
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The Yankees and Astros are set for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday, and neither team will hold back as they seek a World Series berth. The Astros are prepared to back starter Charlie Morton with any able-bodied pitcher in their ranks — including Justin Verlander, though A.J. Hinch said it would be a “dream scenario” to get anything more from his ace — while the Yankees are prepared to utilize all but a few of their arms. One pitcher you won’t see? Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who last took the hill for the Yankees during their Game 5 shutout on Wednesday.
Tanaka expended 103 pitches over seven scoreless innings in his last start, fending off the Astros with three hits, a walk and eight strikeouts. He hasn’t pitched on fewer than three days of rest all year, and even with a do-or-die scenario facing the Yankees on Saturday night, manager Joe Girardi doesn’t want to compromise his starter’s ability to stay rested and ready for the World Series.
Girardi will also play it safe with fellow right-hander Sonny Gray, who dominated in a five-inning performance in Game 4. All other pitchers should be available and ready to go, though the club is hoping for a lengthy outing from veteran starter CC Sabathia. Sabathia is no stranger to the postseason: over eight separate playoff runs, he touts one championship title and a collective 4.24 ERA in 123 innings. He held the Astros scoreless in his Game 3 start, blanking them over six innings on three hits, four walks and five strikeouts for an eventual 8-1 win.
Even without Tanaka or Gray likely to take the mound for Game 7, the Yankees will enter the series finale with history on their side. Per MLB.com, they have a 4-3 road record in Game 7s and are 6-7 in all 13 Game 7 finales to date. The Astros, on the other hand, dropped their first and only Game 7 clincher back in 2004, when the Cardinals capped the NLCS with a 5-2 win in St. Louis. The teams are scheduled to face off for the first-ever Game 7 at Minute Maid Park on Saturday at 8:00 PM ET.