For one glorious night, the Houston Astros were the top team in baseball.
On March 31, the Astros won this year's major league opener, with Bud Norris getting the win and Rick Ankiel homering as Houston made its debut as an American League club by beating Texas.
Reality struck the Astros their next time out - Yu Darvish came within one out of pitching a perfect game against them.
By the end of the season, Norris had been traded, Ankiel got cut and the Astros had gone 2-17 against their instate rivals.
That pretty much summed up how the whole year went.
Houston lost a team-record 111 games and struck out 1,535 times, more than any team in big league history.
And if those weren't tough enough, the Astros ended the year with a team-record 15-game losing streak - the longest losing skid to finish a season in the majors since the Cleveland Spiders in 1899.
So how could the Astros possibly feel optimistic? Easy, first-year manager Bo Porter said.
''The core pieces that we have tha...