Friday, April 8, 2016

Yanks Take 2 of 1st 3 vs. Astros

When you start a season 0-1, it's not good. But, in the words of the immortal Casey Stengel, "The Yankees don't pay me to win every day, just two out of every three."

Win 2 out of every 3 games, you'll finish 108-54.

Nathan Eovaldi, whose great season put the Yankees in position to win the AL East last year, but whose injury caused him to miss all of September and was one reason why they didn't win it, started the series finale with the Houston Astros yesterday, and was shaky. He had a great strikeout-to-walk ratio of 7-0, but went just 5 innings and allowed 5 runs on 6 hits.

The bullpen, however, was superb. (Yes, I know: I use the word "superb" a lot. I also overuse "shaky.") Between them, Kirby Yates (a 29-year-old righthanded native of Hawaii, wearing Number 39, making his Yankee debut, brother of former Met pitcher Tyler Yates), Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller went 4 innings, allowing only 3 baserunners, all singles.

Between them, the 5 Yankee pitchers had 14 strikeouts and no walks. Cliche alert: "Those walks will kill you" -- but not if you don't issue them.

The Yankees trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and 5-2 in the bottom of the 4th. But Brain McCann and Starlin Castro (now looking like a great pickup) both hit home runs in the 4th (McCann's 1st homer of the season, Castro already with his 2nd), and Mark Teixeira hit a Teix Message in the 7th (his 2nd).

Yankees 8, Astros 5. WP: Shreve (1-0). SV: Miller (1). LP: Will Harris (0-1).

As bad as that opener was, the Yankees took 2 out of 3 against the 'Stros, 26-16 on aggregate. (I know, it doesn't work that way in this sport, and it doesn't give us credit for 3 wins, only 2.) It was 9-5 on the average. (It doesn't work that way, either.)

The Yankees have gone out to Detroit for a 3-game series. Today is the Tigers' home opener. It's expected to be cold. Here are the intended starting pitchers:

* Today, 1:10: Luis Severino vs. Jordan Zimmermann.
* Tomorrow, 1:10: CC Sabathia vs. former Met Mike Pelfrey.
* Sunday night, 8:10 on ESPN: Masahiro Tanaka vs. Justin Verlander.

The Mets have their home opener at Pity Field today, against the Philadelphia Phillies. No doubt, they will unveil their 2015 National League Pennant, their 8th banner, along with their 1969 and 1986 World Championships, their 1973 and 2000 Pennants, their 1999 Wild Card berth, and their 2006 NL East title.

The Mets hang banners for sub-World Series wins.

That's cute.

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