Mets Clinch Winning Record, Then Come Home and Lose Some More
Added by Guy Kipp on September 27, 2013.
(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
In his first at-bat of the Mets’ last road trip of the season, David Wright came off the disabled list and hit a home run.
In his second at-bat of the Mets’ last homestand of the season, David Wright got hit in the head with a pitch and came out of the game.
The Mets went 5-1 on their final road trip of the season. They followed that by losing to a depleted and truly terrible Milwaukee Brewers team when they got back home.
The difference in the energy and confidence with which the Mets play road games (where they went 41-40 in 2013) and the languid, tentative way they sleepwalk through so many home games and take so many third strikes right down the middle of the plate is not a fluke at this point. It is real, it is palpable, and nobody seems to know how to change it. It’s been going on ever since they opened their taxpayer bailout-funded new ballpark in 2009. Only once in the ensuing five seasons did the Mets play better at home than they did on the road.
The Mets are 32-46 going into their final three home games of the year. They have allowed almost the same number of runs in home and road games, but have scored just about a full run a game less in their home stadium than on the road.
Doing a spot check of some of the biggest culprits who can’t seem to stand playing in Citi Field reveals: Lucas Duda, although he has hit more homers at home, is batting .207 at home, .243 on the road. Daniel Murphy is a .308 hitter on the road, but just .258 at home. David Wright has hit twice as many home runs on the road (12) as he has at home (6). There was only one year that Wright hit more homers at home than on the road since the Mets left Shea Stadium.
Ike Davis hit one more homer at home (5) than he did on the road this year, but Ike really didn’t hit enough home runs anywhere this year, and, last year, when he hit 32 overall, 21 of Davis’ home runs came on the road, just 11 at home.
Before the 2011 season, the Mets shortened the dimensions in their cavernous outfield, but, while that kind of move might appease a few of your hitters, it makes it easier for opposing power hitters (and there are more of them on most teams than there are on the Mets), too. Witness the Washington Nationals recently outhomering the Mets, 13-0, in a four-game series at Citi Field earlier in September.
The Mets can’t win home games. And the problem is chronic, not acute.
In sports, it’s actually not uncommon for veteran teams used to winning to exhibit a penchant for playing well on the road. But the case of the Mets, a barely mediocre team that plays very well on the road—better than ANY team in the N.L. East, including the first-place Braves, who were 40-41 on the road—confounds all logic, defies any reasonable explanation and stumps anyone seeking a solution to the problem.