Look on the bright side. For seven innings, the Yankees looked pretty good. CC Sabathia was effective if not spectacular, Dellin Betances contributed a perfect inning of work and Vidal Nuno rewarded the Yankees decision to choose him for one of the final spots in the bullpen.
The offense worked the count and scored two runs on five hits, including two by Mark Teixeira, who looked great at the plate and singled to left field to beat the shift. Derek Jeter got his first hit and made a strong charging play in the field, showing no immediate ill effects from being hit by a pitch in the 1st inning.
All in all, not too bad. Unfortunately, those seven strong innings came after a disastrous first two innings during which Sabathia’s pitches were tattooed all around Minute Maid Park. The defense looked like they had already forgotten some of the fundamentals they spent the bulk of spring working on and the offense looked lifeless while getting no-hit by Scott Feldman.
After 182 days between games, a Spring Training that seemed unusually long, and after watching team after team start the season on Sunday and Monday, the excitement and the momentum for the Yankees' Opening Day was almost palpable. By the time those first two innings were in the books, however, that dewey-eyed optimism was long gone.
It was taken away by the Houston Astros, a team that lost 111 games last year and does not figure to be much better in 2014. This was not the way anyone envisioned the start of the season.
Still, putting too much weight on one game, even one as ugly as this one, would be a mistake, even if, with the rest of the A.L. East playing each other, this would have been a good one to win. The name of the game is winning each series and, despite how deflating Game 1 was, the Yankees can still do just that. It’s 1 game out of 162.
The Yankees will take a deep cleansing breath and come back tonight. Yankees fans should do the same.