In honor of former New York Yankees announcer Mel Allen, Yanks Go Yard presents: This Week In Yankees Baseball. Allen served as a Yankees broadcaster and also as the memorable host of ¨This Week in Baseball.¨
The New York Yankees got off to a miserable start to the 2014 season with a 6-2 loss to the Astros, in Houston´s debut series in the American League on Tuesday. CC Sabathia, who pitched well all spring, suffered through a disastrous first two innings as the Yankees fell behind 6-0.
¨It´s tough,¨ Sabathia said of his 11th career opening day start,¨but it´s a long year. I have a lot of starts left. After the second inning, I felt like I threw the ball a lot better. I got some swings early in the count but was still able to go six innings. I just have to be better next time out.¨
On Wednesday, there was no early inning disaster as Hiroki Kuroda allowed only three hits and two runs in six innings. But the Yankees bats were once again on ice, as Houston prevailed 3-1.
Kuroda was not discouraged, keeping his faith in his teammates. ¨With the lineup we have,¨he said, ¨if you keep the game to two runs, I know we´ll have a chance.¨
The bright spots on offense were Brian Roberts and McCann. Roberts had three hits and McCann chipped in with two. The Yankees lone run came in the seventh as Yangervis Solarte grounded into a double play to score Brett Gardner.
But Thursday saw the Yankees bounce back to record their first win of the season. And it was Solarte who supplied the spark with three hits. He also scored half of the Yankees runs as they salvaged the final game of the series with a 4-2 victory over the Astros.
¨I have been waiting a long time for this,¨Solarte said. ¨I thank God for everything, especially for the opportunity that the New York Yankees have given me. I hope to continue working hard, which is the main thing.¨
Perhaps the one who was most grateful for Solarte´s contribution was Ivan Nova. Although Nova struggled, he kept Houston at bay, allowing two runs in 5 2/3 innings. Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley and David Robertson held the Astros scoreless for the final 3 1/3 to preserve the win.
On Friday, the Yankees offense finally broke out. Jacoby Ellsbury led the way with three hits, two stolen bases, and two runs scored, as the Yanks beat Tornto 7-3. Masahiro Tanaka gave up an early home run and looked shaky as his debut began. But then he settled in to earn his first Major League victory.
Tanaka thanked his teammates for giving him the support that he needed. ¨I think it comes from what I´ve experienced as a baseball player throughout the years,¨ Tanaka said. ¨My teammates really backed me up today.¨
That support was bolstered by RBI from Carlos Beltran and Teixeira. But the big concern of the day came as Tex left with a strained hamstring. Look to Yanks Go Yard coverage for an update on his condition.
So the Yankees refused to let a slow start stand in their way. Through Friday´s game, they were only one-half game behind first place Tampa Bay.
¨How about that!¨