The New York Mets and Houston Astros are baseball twins. Both entered Major League Baseball in 1962 and would go on actually have some pretty closely connected history.
The two clubs have made a lot of trades over the years. Jerry Grote was originally a member of the Astros. The 1986 World Series MVP Ray Knight came over from Houston in a trade, too. We can even add Mike Hampton to the list of names who went from one team to the other.
Of course, there’s the other side of it, too. The Mets traded 1986 National League Cy Young winner Mike Scott to Houston for Danny Heep in what became a one-sided deal. Scott would get to face his former team in the 1986 NLCS while giving the team an epic performance.
Games between the Mets and Astros are rare these days
The Astros moved to the American League in 2013 and have had a bit of a different look since. They underwent a major rebuild only to then win a championship a few years later in 2017. In the years since, they have become one of the game’s toughest teams to beat.
The Mets and Astros play each other four times in 2022 with a home-and-home separated by a single series. It’s only the third series of interleague play between the two clubs and the first meeting since the Astros swept the Mets in 2017.
Their last meeting took place on September 3, 2017. It was a Sunday at Minute Maid Park in a pitching matchup that will give both clubs flashbacks. Chris Flexen started for the Mets with Mike Fiers taking the ball for the Astros. If you recall, Fiers was the first one to blow the whistle publicly on the Astros’ cheating scandal.
By this point in 2017, the Mets were post-trade deadline and seeing what they had in some young players. Dominic Smith went 2 for 5 as the starting first baseman and raised his batting average to .200 on the season. Amed Rosario batted behind him with Brandon Nimmo one spot behind.
There were plenty of familiar Mets names in this lineup who would have impacts later on or had previously contributed in big ways. Jose Reyes was the leadoff hitter. The offensive star of the day, however, was right fielder Nori Aoki who went 3 for 4 with 2 RBI. It wasn’t enough for a Mets win. They dropped the series finale by a score of 8-6.
A lot has changed for both clubs since this last meeting and not just with Cameron Maybin starting in center field for the Astros. The only two players from the Astros lineup still with the team are Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve. Nimmo and Smith are the only two still with the Mets organization.
During spring training, games between the Mets and Astros are commonplace because of the location of their facilities. In the regular season, it’s a rare occurrence. We’ll get four of those games this year and a real test for both organizations.