Nobody likes to lose on Opening Day. All the hope of "Everybody starts out 0-0," and "Everybody has a chance," drifts away when you're 0-1.
And the 2nd game of the Yankees' season, also home to the Houston Astros, looked very unsettling at first. Carlos Correa, last year's American League Rookie of the Year, hit a home run off Michael Pineda, so the Yankees were down 1-0 before they even got to bat.
But in the bottom of the 1st, the Yankees put up the kind of inning we have rarely seen since 2009. Jacoby Ellsbury led off -- ugh -- and reached 1st base on that rarest of plays, catcher's interference. (Astros cheating again?) Collin McHugh then loaded the bases with nobody out by walking Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez. Mark Teixeira moved the runners over a base with an RBI single. Brian McCann doubled to right, scoring Gardner and A-Rod. Carlos Beltran got Teix home on a groundout. Chase Headley singled home McCann.
Exit Astro starter Collin McHugh, enter Michael Feliz. Headley stole 2nd. New guy Starlin Castro singled him home. 6-0 Yankees.
So, we're cruising, right? Not for long. Top of the 2nd, Pineda loaded the bases, and allowed a grand slam to Springer. 6-5 Yankees. And we're all thinking, "Here we go again."
But the Yankees dominated the rest of the way. They came right back in the bottom of the 2nd, with a McCann walk, a Beltran single, and Castro's 1st Yankee home run. 9-5 Yankees.
In the 3rd, Ellsbury led off with a single and stole 2nd. Gardner walked, making the stolen base pointless. A-Rod struck out, but Teixeira sent a Teix Message. 12-5 Yankees.
Correa took Pineda deep again in the 5th. That's 6 runs in 5 innings. Not good. Joe Girardi brought Ivan Nova in for the 6th, and he pitched scoreless ball the rest of the way. Gee, maybe he should have started. As somebody said on Twitter, did you ever think you'd see Ivan Nova leading the team in saves?
Beltran homered to lead off the bottom of the 6th. McCann singled in the 7th, followed by a single by Aaron Hicks, and Ronald Torreyes, a 23-year-old Venezuelan infielder making his Yankee debut (wearing Number 17), tripled them home. Castro singled home Torreyes.
We played a team from Texas, and got a football score. Yankees 16, Astros 6. I like it when the Yankees have 16-run onslaughts.
WP: Pineda (1-0, barely deserving it). SV: Nova (1). LP: McHugh (0-1).
The series continues this afternoon, weather permitting. (As of 3:36, about half an hour before 1st pitch, they were anticipating starting on time.) Nathan Eovaldi starts for the Good Guys, Mike Fiers for the interlopers.
Come on you Pinstripes!
I haven't done a countdown for a while:
Days until Arsenal play again: 2, this Saturday, 7:45 AM our time, away to club West Ham United. It will be the Guners' last visit ever to the Boleyn Ground, a.k.a. Upton Park. Next season, after 112 years as home to the East End club, the Hammers will leave for the 2012 Olympic Stadium.
Days until the New York Red Bulls play again: 2, this Saturday night at 7:00, home to Sporting Kansas City.
Days until the 1st Yankees-Red Sox series of the season: 15, on Friday, April 22, taking on the baseball version of The Scum at Fenway Park. A little over 2 weeks.
Days until the Red Bulls play a "derby": 43, on Friday night, May 13, against D.C. United (a.k.a. The DC Scum), at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington. They next play New York City F.C. (a.k.a. Man City NYC and The Homeless) on Saturday afternoon, May 21, at Yankee Stadium II. They next play the Philadelphia Union on Sunday night, July 17, at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park) in Chester, Pennsylvania. And the next game against the New England Revolution is on Sunday night, August 28, at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.
Days until the 2016 Copa America kicks off in the U.S.: 57, on Friday, June 3. A little over 2 months.
Days until Euro 2016 kicks off in France: 64, on Friday, June 10.
Days until Arsenal play as the opponents in the 2016 Major League Soccer All-Star Game: 112, on Thursday night, July 28, at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California, home of the San Jose Earthquakes. A little under 3 months. Three days later, Arsenal will play C.D. Guadalajara, a.k.a. Chivas, one of the biggest clubs in Mexico, at the StubHub Center, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy, in Carson, California. This will be just 2 years after The Arsenal came to America to play the Red Bulls in New Jersey. I went to that one. I don't think I'll be going to either of these: Even if I could get a game ticket, paying for a plane ticket would be difficult.
Days until the 2016 Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 167, on Friday, August 5.
Days until the next North London Derby: Unknown, but at least 135. The 2016-17 Premier League season is likely to open on Saturday, August 20, but it's unlikely that Arsenal will play Tottenham (a.k.a. The Scum) in the opener.
Days until Rutgers University plays football again: 149, on Saturday, September 3, away to the University of Washington, in Seattle. A little under 5 months.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 155, on Friday, September 9, probably away, since, while the 2016 schedule hasn't been released yet, the Big Green opened last season at home.Days until the New Jersey Devils play another local rival: Unknown, but at least 203. They have 2 games left, hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning tonight and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. They missed the Playoffs for the 4th straight season. Still, they came a lot closer under new head coach John Hynes and new general manager Ray Shero, so there is reason to hope for a good 2016-17 season. At any rate, the new season is likely to being on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 7. But they're not likely to play either the New York Rangers (a.k.a. The Scum), the New York Islanders or the Philadelphia Flyers (a.k.a. The Philth) in the opener.
Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 251, on Thursday morning, November 24, at the purple shit pit on Route 9. Under 8 months.
Days until Alex Rodriguez' alleged retirement becomes official: 592, as his contract runs out on October 31, 2017. Or at the conclusion of the 2017 World Series, if the Yankees make it. Whichever comes last. Under 20 months.
Days until the 2018 World Cup kicks off in Russia: 816, on June 14, 2018. A little over 26 months.