One of the many good things about baseball is that there is always tomorrow. The Yankees are coming into tonight's game against the Houston Astros after falling in their season opener last night 6-2.
Houston scored six runs in the first two innings off of CC Sabathia -- including four in the first inning -- en route to their first win in the last 16 games they've played dating back to last season.
The Yankees had a couple of injury scares in the first inning that had fans cringing at the idea of 2013 happening all over again. Derek Jeter was drilled on the left forearm on the second pitch he saw from starter Scott Feldman. Jeter would stay in the game, and say afterwards that everything was fine -- disaster averted there, for sure. Then in the bottom half of the inning, Brian McCann took a foul tip of his right, non-catching, hand. He, too, would stay in the game and everything was fine.
First pitch for tonight's contest at Minute Maid Park is scheduled for 7:10 tonight. About 15 minutes or so prior to first pitch, the Astros will hold a ceremony to honor Jeter for his Hall of Fame career, as he's in the middle of his final trip to Houston. Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens will be among those involved.
Tonight's lineup vs Houston:
- Jacoby Ellsbury CF
- Derek Jeter SS
- Carlos Beltran RF
- Brian McCann C
- Mark Teixeira 1B
- Alfonso Soriano DH
- Brett Gardner LF
- Brian Roberts 2B
- Kelly Johnson 3B
Pitching matchup preview: Hiroki Kuroda vs Jarred Cosart
Making sure that the Yankees don't fall into an 0-2 hole to begin the season will be Japanese veteran Hiroki Kuroda. This will be Kuroda's first start of the season, obviously, with the right-hander trying to take the great first half of the season he had last year and build on their through the rest of the season.
Kuroda was easily the Yankees' best starter -- one of the best in the league, actually, leading the league in ERA at one point -- until the final six weeks of the season when he broke down from fatigue. He finished the season 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA.
One of his biggest problems last season, and the record definitely shows, was that he wasn't getting any run support. While he was tossing shutout into the 6th, 7th and 8th innings, the Yankees were also posting zero's of their own on defense. But with a totally revamped lineup this season, you would think that issue will be no more.
In his career against the Astros, Kuroda is 4-0 with a 1.39 ERA in eight starts, seven of which came as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On the other side, the Astros are sending the talented young pitcher Cosart to the mound. The 23- year-old right-hander made 10 starts as a rookie for the Astros last season, going 1-1 with a 1.95 ERA. He was named Astros' Rookie of the Year by the Houston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. And now he's Houston's No. 2 starter to begin the season.
"It's my first Opening Day in the big leagues, and I've had guys tell me once you only get one first start to the year, so make the most of it," Cosart said told MLB.com. "That's what I'm going to try to go out and do."
Follow @GavinEwbank on Twitter below for tonight's game coverage.