Pregame notes and a few images from batting practice at Citi Field
Should the Astros win tonight to complete the three-game sweep, it’ll be their first three-game sweep over the Mets in New York since the 1993 club did near the beginning for the 1993 season. The Astros last swept the Mets in Houston in 2008 (Aug. 1-3).
Win or lose tonight, the Astros have already secured the series win. Their last series win occurred last season from Sept. 17-19 when they took two of three from the Reds.
Bill Hall was walking better today but will likely be sidelined for a couple of games after spraining his ankle during Wednesday’s game. Hall ran into the wall next to the Mets dugout while running down a foul ball, hit the railing with his midriff and did a half-flip over the wall. He said he had the wind knocked out of him and is glad there wasn’t any damage to his rib cage.
Clint Barmes took batting practice in the cage Thursday and could take some swings on the field during BP this weekend in Milwaukee.
The catcher position was a big concern as the team ended Spring Training, but so far, the two backstops have stepped up in the big way. Heading into Thursday’s game, Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles have combined to hit .317 (19-for-60) with four doubles, a home run, four RBIs and seven walks in 18 games. The tandem ranks four among MLB teams in combined catchers’ batting average, behind the Padres (.362), Braves (.348) and D-backs (.339).
Since joining the Astros in 2008, Michael Bourn has posted the highest stolen base percentage in franchise history (82.7). …Mark Melancon has stranded all seven of his inherited runners this season and all 14 inherited runners since joining the club last season. …Carlos Lee owns the fifth-highest career batting average against the Mets of all active players (.340).
And finally, images from batting practice at Citi Field: