For the second season in a row, Springer started it with a home run in the team's first at bat of the season, and Verlander, for all intents and purposes, finished it by humbling the Rangers over the first six innings, shutting them out while the Astros built a 4-0 lead.
Remember, Astros fans. The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint. He is 6-0 with a 0.90 ERA in his six regular-season starts since his last-minute approval of a trade from the Detroit Tigers last August 31 that made him eligible for the Astros' postseason roster.
The Athletic's Jake Kaplan noted hitters like Jay Bruce, Justin Bour, Logan Morrison and Matt Adams saw this four-man outfield alignment against the Astros in spring training. The only time the Rangers ever really threatened Verlander was in his final inning of work, getting runners to first and third with two out, but that ended when he struck out Nomar Mazara to end the rally.
Chris Devenski and Brad Peacock each threw a scoreless inning in relief for the Astros.
The right-hander who pitched for the Astros in 2016, the year before they won their first World Series, allowed only Max Stassi's RBI double in the fifth in his new home ballpark, where he had an 8.73 ERA coming in.
"He pitched opening day for a reason", manager A.J. Hinch said. The Astros will wear gold-accented jerseys and hats for the first two games of the series. Fister was the first of 166 major league free agents to finalize a big league contract, and first to switch teams, during the offseason.
Now that's a celebration from the World Series champs Who were you rooting for, the Houston Astros or the Texas Rangers?