Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yo, Meathead!

Can anybody explain the Mets’ home vs. away record this year?

Last year was the Mets’ first year in cavernous Citi Field, and there were adjustments to be made, no doubt. By the end of their injury-plagued 2009, they had gone 41–40 at home, and the ballpark’s dimensions were accused of robbing certain Mets, i.e., David Wright, of their power. Wright only hit 10 home runs last year. Mets fans were afraid that Citi Field was too much of a pitcher’s park, and that homers would be a rarity at home.

Now look at this year! The Mets, as of this writing, are 22–9 at home. That includes a current eight in a row, 18 of 22, and an earlier 10-game homestand in which the Amazin’s won all but one. As a side note, Wright already has 10 total home runs.

The home numbers become more glaring when you see that the Mets are 8–18 away. So not only are they playing great ball at home, they’re so much more comfortable at Citi Field now that they have trouble winning anywhere else!

Consider: On April 30, the Mets convincingly won the first game of three in Philadelphia, 9–1, in a series they were using as a measuring stick for their progress. Who better to measure themselves against than their division rivals, who also happen to be the reigning NL champs? But the Mets went on to lose the next two in embarrassing fashion, 10–0 and 11–5, and the fans thought the Mets were showing no improvement whatsoever from last year’s joke of a campaign. Fast-forward to May 25–27. In a three-game series, now at Citi Field, not only did the Mets sweep three from the Phils, but Philadelphia did not score a single run in the series. That’s right, the NL champs were shut out for three straight by the same team.

In another example of ineptitude, starting May 13, the Mets were swept in four at Florida, a team notorious for sticking it to the Mets whenever they’ve had the chance over the last few years. But this past weekend, New York hosted the Marlins at Citi Field, and can you guess what happened? Correct! The Mets swept the three games, and while they weren’t able to do anything as dramatic as shutting the Fish out for the series, they did come back from a 5–0 deficit in the sixth inning to take the final game 7–6.

Oh, and by the way, did I mention that they have an eight-game home winning streak going? (I know I did.) To go along with a nine-game home winning streak earlier this year?

I’ve heard of home-field advantage, but this is getting ridiculous, especially since it seemed as if the Mets were destined to feel forever lukewarm, at best, about their new digs. And let’s not kid ourselves—any team that has postseason aspirations, and especially championship aspirations, has to be able to win on the road, as well as at home. So what are the Mets to do about playing away for the rest of the season? And are there any theories as to why the Amazin’s seem to be just SO much better at home in 2010? Who’s got something to say about this?

No comments: