10/21 23:26 CDT Sabathia can't save Yankees again with loss in ALCS Game 7
Sabathia can't save Yankees again with loss in ALCS Game 7
By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer
CC Sabathia was unable to come through with another victory after a Yankees
loss. Sabathia didn't make it out of the fourth inning in his first-ever Game 7
start. The Yankees season ended with a 4-0 loss to the Houston Astros in the AL
Championship Series' decisive game. It could be his last game for the Yankees
since is he eligible for free agency.HOUSTON (AP) --- CC Sabathia was on the
mound, unbeaten when starting after New York Yankees losses.
Aaron Judge made another home run-robbing catch early in the game.
Still, the Yankees couldn't avoid elimination this time. Their season is over,
and their 41st American League pennant must wait.
Sabathia, among only three players remaining from New York's last World Series
team in 2009, was unable to save them again in maybe his last game with the
Yankees. The big left-hander was done in the fourth inning of the decisive Game
7 of the AL Championship Series, a 4-0 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday
"I feel like I wasn't as sharp. They came out very aggressive, and I felt like
I couldn't get on track," Sabathia said.
After sweeping the Astros in three games at Yankees Stadium, New York scored
just three runs and had 20 hits in the four games at Houston, striking out 48
Joe Girardi's contract is expiring and he has not said whether he wants to
return for an 11th season in the Bronx.
"I love what I do, and I've always said the first thing that I do is I always
talk to my family. They come first," the manager said. "I'll sit down and talk
to my wife, and the kids, and see where they're at and what they're thinking,
and then see what the Yankees are thinking."
Sabathia can become a free agent and Japanese right-hander Mashiro Tanaka can
opt out of his contract.
Tanaka didn't want to talk about his situation, but Sabathia said he's like to
remain with these Baby Bombers.
"I feel like this is a young team, and we will turn this into something great,"
Sabathia said. "I just wasn't sharp enough today."
New York had avoided elimination four times already this postseason, winning
the AL wild card game and then overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-five AL
Division Series to beat Cleveland. That included the clinching Game 5 that
Sabathia started, though he got a no decision in the Yankees' only road playoff
Starting in a Game 7 for the first time in his career, Sabathia got three
one-pitch groundouts after giving up George Springer's leadoff single in a
seven-pitch first inning.
The Astros second began with Yuli Gurriel's long drive to right field, but
Judge made a running, leaping catch with his left arm fully extended on a ball
that appeared headed for the seats.
After Sabathia escaped jams with two runners on in each the second and third
innings, Evan Gattis started the Astros fourth with a homer off the left-field
facade. The Yankees lefty was done three batters later after Josh Reddick's
first hit of the ALCS put runners at first and second.
Sabathia had been 10-0 with a 1.69 ERA in 13 starts after Yankees losses this
year, including his six scoreless innings in Game 3 of the ALCS.
Reliever Tommy Kahnle induced an inning-ending, double-play grounder on his
first pitch, so Sabathia allowed only one run in 3 1/3 innings. But the
37-year-old left-hander allowed five hits and three walks without any
Not even Judge was tall enough to take a homer away from Jose Altuve when he
hit a ball into the right-field seats in the fifth. After consecutive singles
put two more Astros on base, former Yankees catcher Brian McCann hit a two-run
double into the right-field corner for a four-run lead.
Judge, the rookie slugger who led the AL with 52 homers, hit four in the
postseason --- three in the ALCS. But he also set a major league playoff record
with 27 strikeouts in 48 at-bats in the playoffs.
The closest the Yankees came to scoring in Game 7 was in the fifth when Greg
Bird had a leadoff double but was later thrown out at the plate for the second
time in the ALCS --- the fifth time New York had a runner thrown out on the
Bird had gone to third on Charlie Morton's wild pitch and ran home when Todd
Frazier hit a weak grounder. Third baseman Alex Bregman charged forward,
scooped up the ball and made a perfect throw to McCann's mitt, and Bird slid
into the tag.
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