If the Astros were intimidated by the Yankees' presence, they didn't show it on Opening Day because it was the Astros that forced the issue with their aggressive play.
That led to positive results and also a 6-2 win to start the 2014 season.
This was apparent from the opening inning, when Dexter Fowler scampered to third on a fly ball to shallow right field. The shrewdness paid off when the next batter, Jose Altuve, singled to give the Astros the 1-0 lead. Then, Altuve stole second base, forcing a bad throw and making it to third on the same play. The next batter, Jason Castro, grounded into a fielder's choice that enabled Altuve to score.
"That's kind of what our team's going to be," said L.J. Hoes, one of two Astros to homer during the game. "We're going to have a lot of speed this year. We're going to be able to run and steal bases and that's how we're going to be able to beat teams. We're going to be able to put pressure on different teams and force them to make mistakes."
"I think that's our game," Fowler said. "We've got to put pressure on the defense. Bo (Porter) talks about that all the time and I think that's what we're going to do. We see opportunity and we're going to take it."
Houston seized the momentum. The Astros jumped out to a 6-0 lead after two innings. And they were well on their way to victory.
The aggression wasn't limited to the basepaths. The Astros jumped on C.C. Sabathia early in counts. They were aggressive in their approach against the Yankees' starting pitcher.
"We know he likes to throw a lot of strikes early in the count," Hoes said. "We know he has great off-speed stuff. We know that he's a veteran, crafty pitcher. So we knew we had to get on him early, put kind of the pressure on him. We couldn't let him bring the game to us because that's not our type of game. We're going to be an aggressive team. We're going to try to put pressure on different teams, whoever's on the mound that day, so we know that that's going to be our plan of attack and that was going to be our mindset heading into the game."