Bourn speeding toward Astros' record
Houston (73-85) at Philadelphia (92-66), 6:05 p.m. CT
PHILADELPHIA -- Michael Bourn is going to lead the National League in stolen bases by a wide margin, and the streak-of-lightning center fielder wants to set an Astros record for steals in a season while he's at it.Bourn stole his 61st base of the season in the second inning Wednesday against the Phillies, putting him within four of tying Gerald Young's club record of 65 set in 1988. Only Young and Eric Yelding, who stole 64 in 1990, have stolen more bases in a season for the Astros than Bourn.
"If I'm on, I'm going to go," Bourn said. "As far as [the club record] being in my mind, it's not on my mind to where it's going to bug me. It's in my mind because I know what the record is. If I got the opportunity to get it, I'm going to try to get it. I'm going to try to tie and break it. That's only if the opportunity presents itself and how much I get on base. We'll what happens the last few games."If Bourn continues to progress like he has this year at the plate, he's got a chance to rewrite the Astros' record books when it comes to stolen bases. He stole 41 bases for the Astros last year, giving him 102 in two seasons. The club's all-time record is 487 by Cesar Cedeno, but he's nearly halfway to Joe Morgan's 219, which is fourth-best in club history. Bourn said next year he wants to try to steal third base more often. He has stolen third base four times. "I'm more laid back and let Lance [Berkman] or Carlos [Lee] drive the ball," Bourn said. "It makes it easier on them to make contract with the ball and drive it to the outfield or hit the ground ball and I can get in either way. Just have it in the pitcher's mind that I might go, so he can't concentrate on Lance and Carlos and he might leave a pitch up." Pitching matchup
HOU: RHP Felipe Paulino (2-11, 6.51 ERA)
Paulino was solid to start September with a 3.52 ERA in his first four starts, but fell apart on Saturday against Cincinnati, allowing eight runs on nine hits in five innings while taking the loss. He's been the victim of poor run support for much of the season, including his first three starts in September, when the Astros didn't score a run while he was on the mound. He hasn't faced the Phillies in his young career. PHI: LHP Cliff Lee (14-12, 3.19 ERA)
Cliff Lee allowed nine hits and seven runs in just six innings Friday in an 8-4 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. Lee went 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA in his first five starts with the Phillies, but is 2-3 with a 6.35 ERA in his past six. He has allowed 49 hits, 24 earned runs and three walks and struck out 29 in 34 innings in those six starts. Opponents have hit .336 against him. Lee has thrown 226 innings this season, which led the Majors after Friday. "I feel strong, if that's what you're getting at," Lee said. "I feel as strong as I have all year. That's what you work all offseason for is to prepare for a long season and hopefully something extra there at the end. I feel like I've done everything I need to do to be in a position where I'm at right now." Tidbits
Shortstop Miguel Tejada extended his hitting streak to 17 games on Wednesday. ... Humberto Quintero is scheduled to start at catcher Thursday after J.R. Towles started eight of the previous 13 games behind the plate. ... Quintero is 4-for-10 in his past four starts with a homer and two RBIs. ... The Astros have been outscored, 120-82, in first innings this year. Tickets
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Friday: Astros (Wandy Rodriguez, 14-11, 2.97) at Mets (John Maine, 6-6, 4.72), 6:10 p.m. CT
Saturday: Astros (Yorman Bazardo, 1-2, 8.23) at Mets (Pat Misch, 2-4, 4.71), 12:10 p.m. CT
Sunday: Astros (Wilton Lopez, 0-1, 9.42) at Mets (TBD), 12:10 p.m. CT
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.