The Houston Astros' World Series title defense did not start the way they wanted, as they battled a historic pitching performance form Chicago White Sox ace Dylan Cease, 3-2. It was a loss so rare that it ended an Opening Day streak not seen in over a century.
“Astros snap a 10-game winning streak on Opening Day, was tied with the Boston Beaneaters (1887-96) for longest streak in MLB history,” ESPN Stats & Info Tweeted. Not to be overshadowed, Cease made his own history by becoming the fourth pitcher in American League history to throw 10 strikeouts and record no walks on Opening Day. He did it all on just 86 pitches in just over six innings of work, while allowing just one earned run.
Unfortunately, Cease did not get any run support, with Chicago rallying in the eighth and ninth innings after he was already taken out. Astros ace Framber Valdez did his job but was done after five innings. Yasmani Grandal homered to tie the game before first baseman Andrew Vaughn played the role of hero with a two-run RBI double.
Fans who are chasing Houston will look for any omen that could foretell the future of the 2023 MLB season. A rare Opening Day defeat is just the sign they are looking for. Stalwart second baseman Jose Altuve is starting the year on the Injured List, which certainly dampened the usual first-game excitement to a degree.
On the other hand, Yordan Alvarez's AL MVP chances got off to a good start. He launched a 442-foot solo shot in the ninth and scored two runs.
The whole Astros lineup, which only mustered four hits, will look to wake up against Lance Lynn Friday night.