The difference between a win and loss for the Astros came down to just a matter of inches against the Yankees.

New York Yankees v Houston Astros / Tim Warner/GettyImages

Things started off so well for the Houston Astros on Opening Day against the Yankees. The Astros were up 4-0 in the second inning with Framber Valdez on the mound. Normally, that is exactly how Houston would draw things up in an ideal scenario.

However, Valdez was not his usual self during the 2024 season opener. He would face multiple bases-loaded jams largely thanks to his inability to find the strike zone for which he was finally punished in the fifth inning. Ultimately, he would exit his first start of the season with a final line of 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, and 5 K. That is not what the Astros want to see out of the staff ace.



Even after Valdez fell apart, the Astros were only down a run in the ninth and were taking some good swings off of Yankees closer Clay Holmes.

And then this happened.

Close play at the plate ruins Astros comeback bid against Yankees



The real-time highlight doesn’t tell the full story, so we’ll direct you to the link directly above it which shows that Dubon was mere inches from touching home plate before the sweeping tag from Jose Trevino came in.

From the camera angle, it is tough to see exactly when the tag was applied (if it was at all), but it was close enough to confirm the out call on the field. One batter later, the game was over and the Astros remain in search of their first win of 2024.

The confluence of events that had to occur to even get to this point are pretty wild. Arguably the best left-handed pitcher in baseball first had to blow a four-run lead (and it could have been much worse).

Then, the Astros had to mount a comeback in the bottom of the ninth inning and actually capitalize with a quick runner in scoring position. Then Juan Soto, who isn’t always known as a strong defender, had to make a great throw in that spot.

Unfortunately, all of those things did happen. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap, we suppose. Luckily, the Astros have 161 more chances to get back in the win column.