New York Yankees fans must have had May 4 circled on their calendar since the schedule was released.
The Houston Astros are visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time since eliminating New York from the 2019 American League Championship Series. That off-season an investigation conducted by MLB revealed that Houston stole signs in its 2017 World Series championship campaign.
Heading into the game, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa downplayed the impact the crowd would have on the players.
“I’m not afraid of Yankee Stadium,” Correa said. “The fans don’t scare me. Their pitching is soft. I am an elite shortstop. You can’t stop someone like me. I’ll be painting my nails with an extra bright shade for my warpaint.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic limiting Yankees Stadium to a smaller crowd, fans made the most of the opportunity to welcome the Astros back to the Bronx.
Houston was booed throughout batting practice with fans chanting "You're a cheat-er!" and "Houst-on cheat-ed!" while some wore shirts and brought signs referencing the sign-stealing scandal and garbage cans.
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) May 4, 2021
The crowd was briefly silenced in the first inning when Alex Bregman hit a solo home run to give Houston a 1-0 lead.
That was followed by a massive ovation for Giancarlo Stanton, who responded with a two-run shot in the bottom half of the first.
The one player who received the loudest not-so-friendly reception was Jose Altuve, who won the AL MVP in 2017.
At one point, outfielder Michael Brantley refused to throw a foul ball into the crowd, instead tossing it over to the dugout.
Houston has been booed in every road stadium this season while getting garbage cans thrown on the field last month in a visit to Los Angeles. The Astros will be in New York until Thursday, so expect more of the same in the rest of the three-game series.