HOUSTON -- In one of the uglier Opening Days in franchise history, slim CC Sabathia pitched awfully, while Derek Jeter, in his final season, took a fastball off his wrist in the first inning. Jeter stayed in the game to pick up a single in the eighth and score a run.
U-G-L-Y: That may be an understatement to describe Sabathia's outing. In the first, Sabathia gave up a leadoff double to Dexter Fowler that landed on Tal's Hill and a no-doubt-about-it, two-run homer to Jesus Guzman in the four-run inning.
Sabathia showed some worrisome signs right from the start. He could barely touch 90 mph, which makes being precise a priority. He was not accurate enough.
In the second, Sabathia gave up two more runs. L.J. Hoes, the No. 8 hitter, smashed a homer to start it off. Houston added a double and another run.
After two innings, Sabathia and the Yankees were down 6-0. Former Yankees catcher and current YES analyst John Flaherty went to Twitter to describe what everyone was thinking.
Cc has nothing!!
— John Flaherty (@flash17yes) April 1, 2014
No defense: On top of Sabathia's poor pitching, the Yankees were throwing the ball around in the first couple innings. Mark Teixeira threw one away trying to nail a runner at home. Brian McCann threw another trying to nail a runner at third after a passed ball. Neither were ruled errors.
In the second, Carlos Beltran could not pick up a ball in right. The error led to another base for the runner.
So Sabathia didn't pitch well, but he wasn't helped out much by the guys around him.
On the bright side: Sabathia threw four scoreless innings after giving up six runs. Manager Joe Girardi will probably focus on that, but not many others will.
Captain crunched: In Jeter's first at-bat of his last season, Scott Feldman drilled him on the left wrist. Trainer Steve Donohue came out to take a look at Jeter. After playing only 17 games last year, Jeter was not coming out unless it was broken. It apparently is not.
In the eighth, Jeter picked up hit No. 1 of 2014 and No. 3,317 of his career. A vintage single to right, which moved him just two hits shy of Paul Molitor for ninth all-time.
Comeback? With one out in the eighth, Brian McCann picked up his (and the Yankees') first RBI of 2014. Mark Teixeira would score Jeter on a seeing-eye single. The two-run rally would end on Alfonso Soriano's double-play groundout.
No hit: The Yankees didn't pick up their first hit of the season until the fourth inning, when Beltran knocked a single off Feldman.
Tex on the board: Teixeira had two hits, both singles. He played in only 15 games last season because of his injured wrist.
Missed opportunity: With two outs in the seventh, the Yankees loaded the bases, but Kelly Johnson grounded into a forceout.
Bet on Dellin: After making the team in the spring, Dellin Betances threw a 1-2-3 seventh with two strikeouts. He might be working important eighth innings by the end of the year.
The stars at night are big and bright: Former president George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara were in attendance. Reggie Jackson sat with Nolan Ryan during the game.
On deck: Ian O'Connor will opine about Sabathia, while I will have all the news from the clubhouse, including an update on Jeter.