The Astros are currently leading the American League West and they’re also one of the teams leading the way when it comes to safety. Extended protective netting has been installed at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros beat the Detroit Tigers 5-4 Monday night, and some fans are seeing the extended netting as a win, too. Extending the netting at MLB parks has been a topic of discussion lately as a few fans have gotten hit by foul balls during games this summer.
Back in May, a little girl was struck by a foul ball hit by Chicago Cubs player Albert Almora Jr. at Minute Maid Park. The girl’s skull was fractured and she had some brain bleeding after being hit. Serious injuries for the girl and Almora Jr. was shaken up and very emotional when he realized what happened.
That wasn't just a one-off instance. Fans have gotten hit at other MLB games this summer too- one at a White Sox game and another at a Dodgers game.
The Astros announced earlier this month they would be extending the netting and it was in place in time for Monday’s game. The netting is extended further down the left-field and right-field lines, increasing the number of seats that will be behind the protective netting.
One fan we spoke to before the game says he is glad the Astros made this change.
“I think it’s pretty good, man," Tyler Tiemann said. "A lot of people have been getting hurt especially this season it seems like. It will help out a lot, just keep a lot more people safe, maybe make everything more enjoyable hopefully, I don’t know, it’s been getting kind of bad.”
The Astros are on the front end of this change. So far besides the 'Stros, the Nationals and White Sox are the only ones to have actually made the changes, though several other teams have announced plans to do so.
Most recently, the Braves announced they will be extending their protective netting to the foul poles.