Baseball’s here, y’all!
The Astros opening day game, postponed for a day due to inclement weather, finally kicked off mid-day Tuesday on a brisk, sunny day at Yankees stadium. A match-up of the 2015 ALCS Wildcard game that knocked the Yankees out of contention in the same location, one team was looking to settle the score.
First inning yielded nothing from either club. Astros started off a little late, going a full rotation and 9 at-bats without a hit or a base. Yankees took the early lead in the 2nd, after a Correa fielding error wiped out a sure double-play, and the final 2 outs of the inning. After another scoreless inning, Astros woke up with Altuve, Springer, and Correa getting on base, with Correa driving in Altuve on an RBI to put the Astros on the board.
Correa hit a solo HR in the 6th to tie the game, and a series of old school ball plays put the Astros on top, 5-2. New pitching recruit Ken Giles gave up the perfect pitch in his Astros debut for Didi Gregorious to sink into the stands in the 8th, which brought Yankees up to 2 behind. Giles quickly made up for the flub with some nasty/pretty stikeouts, which showed fans why he was brought over from Philly.
Final score for the game, 5-3. More competitive than the 2015 Wildcard, but it wasn’t the day for Yankees to shine.
Highlights of the game include Tyler White’s debut in the MLB, hitting a solid line drive for a base. His next AB would bring him out of the game after being hit on the hand with a pitch. Preston Tucker came out to impress, with an almost double line drive in his first AB, and a solid double to follow. Correa was all over the place, which gives him the MVP for the day. 2 stolen bases, 1 up in the air catch to secure an out, 2 runs (one on a solo HR), 2 stolen bases, and 2 RBIs.
Best moments of the game:
This tweet came after a not-very-controversial inside base run by Correa, which caused an awkward throw that brought in a run and completely missed the mark. Thing is, he was inside, and the pitcher had to just tag him in the back, and he’d be out by interference, and Altuve would be brought back. Instead, Betances tries to lob it over, and misses his mark. Correa gets the base, Altuve gets the run.
Insult to injury? Betances charged with a fielding error, and could have saved the day with a tag.
Why did the Yankees get mad? Because Betances made a bad call to lob it over Correa’s head and out of Teixeira’s reach. Correa’s running didn’t interfere with Betances fielding or throwing, when he chose to lob it up in the air in such a way. Interference by runner would have occurred had Betances thrown it straight to Teixeira, thus hitting Correa in the back. Betances decided to lob it, and killed the argument of interference. Rules are rules.
Correa adds to that angst with a second stolen base (the second in the game where the Ump incorrectly called Correa out) with a spectacular slide and and hold on the base with his back foot. Upon review, Correa was declared safe. This play leads to Correa in scoring position, and eventually scoring (along with Rasmus) on a line drive single by Valbuena. Yankees come within 2 with the Gregorius HR, but fall short in the end..
Considering the Yankees were practically gifted all of their runs in the game (2 in the 2nd after Correa flubs on what should have been a double play to end the inning, as well as Giles perfect set up for the Gregorius HR), one would think they’d be the last to cry foul. Win by the bat, not the rule book. Lessons learned here? Throw the damn ball next time, and don’t cry when your pitcher throws an error instead.
All in all, Astros had a decent outing. Fielding is improving, and small ball picked up this game. 4/5 runs were brought in by RBIs. If the Astros can keep this up, then it will be hard for a team to stop them this season.