A few things we knew going into this last game with Houston:
- Carlos Correa is a helluva hitter. His homers have mad hops.
- When healthy, Mark Teixeira’s homers have mad hops, too.
- It’s kinda cold outside.
Knowing that, we had time to speculate a little further about the near future. Starlin Canostro (hat tip to GaryfromChevyChase), our newest budding star at second, is on a pretty good roll to start the season, considering that he’s playing off the position he started his career with. Can he keep this up for a little while longer please? Will Nathan Eovaldi continue to evolve from where he left off with intriguing stuff that produced an occasional pearl before he was shut down last September? Can the rest of the lineup keep pace with the outburst they unleashed in last night’s prime time drama?
*(See answers below)
Eovaldi was, to say the least, kinda inconsistent. He zipped through the first inning on six pitches and he probably felt so bad about it that the next inning he struggled through the next inning on 38 pitches, spotting Houston three runs on a long double, followed by back-to-back jacks by Tyler White and Preston Tucker. I’m gonna have to assume that they are part of Houston’s revitalization plan from when they stunk for several years, carefully cultivated for the day when they and Correa and perhaps a few more could be unleashed and strike fear in the AL. Maybe not, I dunno. But it did show that Eovaldi still has some work to do coming back from his ouchies from last season; no time like the present. Yet, I’m also hoping that the Yankees are also establishing a trend of their own by fighting back when their down, kinda like how all those teams from the 90s into the early part of the millennium did. They managed to get a run back on a sac fly by Headley, scoring Teixeira from third, followed next inning by a double by Ellsbury which scored Didi (who is continuing to hit and get on base). The game was close again going into the fourth, but Eo gave up a two-run single to White. This probably would have been a problem any other time, but this is Game Three at the start of the season and the Yanks seem to have a tiger in their tank; first McCann led off with a solo shot to right, then two outs later Castro smacked one deep over the left field wall for another run. Ah, down by one, come back and watch why don’t cha…
At this point, Eo was cruising through the fifth inning, retiring the side on 12 pitches. However, because of that second inning, his pitch count was in the red zone and his night was over; 94 pitches over five with 5 runs, 7 Ks and no walks. Not bad, but not necessarily that good either; fairly inconsistent and staring at a loss for his efforts. But the lineup bailed him out tonight, with A-Rod singling in Ellsbury to tie the score, and there it remained with five apiece through the top of the seventh.
Anybody get a good look at this guy Kirby Yates? The box scores says he acquitted himself rather well in the sixth, going through a tough part of the lineup and giving up only a single sandwiched in between a fly-out and two strikeouts. If I could have seen him, I’d wonder what his body language was showing, because I guarantee the bullpen’s gonna need more results like that going forward. Chasen Shreve started the seventh and also acquitted himself well, keeping the score tied into the bottom half of the Seventh.
Hero Time. Tonight’s guest: Mark Teixeira.
After Ellsbury grounded out, Gardner singled to right and Houston brought in last night’s reliever of note Ken Giles. After getting A-Rod to chase two, he somehow managed to single to center. Tex was next hitting from the left side, and after watching a ball go by, he lashed out and poked one near the end of his bat the opposite way. Was it enough?
Tonight, in the beginning of a new season, with so many questions about himself, about the lineup, about starting pitching and even about the bullpen… tonight, it was.
Tonight, Betances came in and held down Houston like an Eight Inning Man™ should. Tonight, giving up a couple of singles with his left hand while ignoring the pain in his right wasn’t a bad thing, because Andrew Miller used his left hand to strike out three to close the game and seal the win. Tonight, the third of at least eighty (and hopefully more), here in a pearly open backyard palace in a usually snarled part of the boogie down, it is what it was. Just another game.