The money invested in new players didn’t really show as the New York Yankees lost 6-2 to the Houston Astros on their Opening Day, with CC Sabathia providing an awful start while Jesus Guzman and L.J. Hoes hit home runs off of him.
Sabathia started and pitched for six innings, allowing six runs and 8 hits while also striking out six batters. Dellin Betances and Vidal Nuno who came on after him provided a better performance on the mound, but the Yankees didn’t generate enough offense during the game, scoring only two runs in the 8th inning.
Sabathia’s poor control of his fastball and the decreasing velocity problems continue. He allowed 6 hits in 14 at-bats ending in a fastball, including 2 doubles and a home run, and the average velocity on it was 89 mph, the lowest for him in a start since 2009. Sabathia has never been one with big Opening day performances, which means the Yankees can expect better from him later on, and yet the more alarming number seems to be allowing 4+ ER in an inning 6 times since the start of last season, tied for 4th-most in the majors during that span.
The hitting wasn’t great for the Yankees either, finishing with 6-of-32 and getting to first four more times during the game through walks and one time Derek Jeter, his final Opening Day, getting hit by a pitch. Mark Teixeira showed promising signs after a rough season with a 2-of-3 start, but Alfonso Soriano did a bad job as the DH coming on after him, twice leaving runners in scoring positions while he messed up at-bat.
The Astros were up 6-0 in the second inning but the Yankees did get on board, only it happened in the 8th inning and couldn’t muster any momentum to try and force a comeback. Scott Feldman, who also got the win, pitched for 6.2 innings and allowed only 2 hits and two walks before moving onto the bullpen. Chad Qualls managed to complicate things a little bit for the Astros by allowing three hits, but a strong finishing inning from Matt Albers got the job done and quieted the Yankees’ bats.
Besides Guzman and Hoes it was a strong game for Jose Altuve with a couple of hits and 2 RBI, twice helping Dexter Fowler reach home plate with singles. Fowler also finished with 2-of-4 as the lead off man, as the Astros finished hitting on 9-of-33 at bats. Fowler began the game with a lead-off double, finding quite the impressive way to start off his career in Houston after being traded from Colorado.
It got out of hand early. I’ve got 34 — hopefully more — starts left. I’m definitely not going to pitch like I did tonight in the first two innings. I know I can pitch. I love to get guys out. I feel great, so no, I’m not going to beat myself up over this. It’s not what you want, but I had a feeling we were going to lose a game at some point this year. So, we got it out of the way early.