Here’s a weird question to ask on April 3: How important is it that the Yankees win tonight?
My guess is that it’s not very important at all. I’m sure plenty of teams have lost the first three games and gone on to have perfectly good seasons (the 2009 Yankees lost their first two games against a pretty bad Orioles team). But to lose these games against the Astros? Against a team that should be one of the worst in baseball? Against a team who’s second baseman might literally be the only position player to crack the Yankees everyday lineup?
“It’s an important game because you obviously want to get on that side of the column and you want to start putting some wins together,” Joe Girardi said.
Let’s not get crazy here, tonight is certainly not a must-win situation. It would be nice to win, but all hope will not be lost if the Yankees are swept in Houston and head to Toronto as a last-place team in the American League East. But I’m guessing plenty of folks would feel a little bit better if the Yankees offense were to make a little noise on the last day down here.
“I know it’s important to win, that every win counts, but at the same time, we have had good pitching from them,” Carlos Beltran said. “You’ve got to give credit to what they’re doing. (Last night) their pitcher did a good job, outside corner, locating his pitches well, he was keeping us off balance all night. … Offensively I think we have what it takes to play better and win ballgames. So we don’t worry about it.”
For tonight’s starter, the Yankees turn to Ivan Nova, who pitched well enough at the end of last season to suggest he could be — if he manages to stay consistent and carry that success into this season — a true force in this rotation.
“Nothing has changed,” Nova said. “I just want to go out there, have a good game and win the game. It’s only the second game of the year, so there’s nothing to be worried about. … It would be nice if we win the first one (tonight), but there’s no extra pressure. If this was the end of September and we were two games behind, I may think about it. There’s no reason to think that way right now.”
Associated Press photo