HOUSTON - Contrary to the overwhelmingly negative reaction, there were some bright spots from the Yankees' season-opening loss Tuesday.
Among them was the performance of Dellin Betances, whose brilliant spring earned him a bullpen spot with the Yankees.
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The 6-8 righthander pitched a scoreless seventh on Tuesday, retiring the Astros in order. The 26-year-old, whose fastball topped out at 97 mph in the spring when he posted a 0.73 ERA, struck out leadoff man Dexter Fowler and the next batter, Robbie Grossman. He got Jose Altuve, 2-for-3 to that point, to ground to second to end the inning.
"Really good," Joe Girardi said Wednesday. "He threw strike after strike after strike and got ahead of hitters and finished them with his curveball. It was really good to see."
Same old, same old
Girardi ran out the same lineup Wednesday that he did on Tuesday, a rarity in 2013 when injuries hit early in the spring and never let up.
"I'm not so sure how many times I did that last year," Girardi said. "It's nice. Obviously the key is to stay healthy and if we're able to do that you're going to see this lineup a lot."
The lineup Tuesday and Wednesday featured Jacoby Ellsbury leading off, with Derek Jeter hitting second and Brett Gardner batting seventh.
No progress for Ryan
It has been a slow-go for SS Brendan Ryan, out much since March 21 with a pinched nerve in his back, during his rehab in Tampa so far. "He's not doing too much," Girardi said. "He's not really doing any baseball activities. It's more the stretching and rehabbing."
Ryan's injury opened the door for switch-hitting Yangervis Solarte, who can play second, short and third, to make the club after an outstanding spring.
Good luck with that
Girardi said Dean Anna, who won one of the reserve infield spots, would be his emergency third string catcher.
"He doesn't know it but [he would be]," Girardi said with a smile.