What about Rick Ankiel? The itinerant outfielder made Houston’s Opening Night as a non-roster invite to spring training. His pinch-hit three-run home run of Derek Lowe in the bottom of the sixth broke the game open and helped Houston coast to its first victory of the season.
The Astros didn’t have to win Sunday, but it sure helped that they did.
After Sunday, the losses may start piling up. After Sunday, the team will fall back into obscurity, followed by only the most fervent of fans. The national writers will go home and may not check back in on this club until the July trade deadline.
For now, though, Houston did what it needed to do. On baseball’s grand Opening Night, the Astros showed everyone they could hang with the big dogs in the American League.
It was only one game.
It was a start.