The Mets have wrapped up another road trip and are coming back to Shea. Uh-oh.
In one of the stranger differences of the year between the 2006 and 2007 Mets, the team has struggled at home, while putting up some impressive numbers on the road. The 2006 Mets were a very good road team...but when they played at Shea, they had a home field advantage. The 2007 Mets have a much better record on the road:
Home: 50-31 .256 avg., 96 HR, 383 RBI, 3.76 team ERA
Away: 47-34 .272 avg., 104 HR, 417 RBI, 4.56 team ERA
2007 (123 games)
Home: 32-27 .270 avg., 60 HR, 247 RBI, 3.87 team ERA
Away: 38-26 .277 avg., 71 HR, 305 RBI, 4.09 team ERA
I'm surprised when I look at those numbers. For the Mets to be hitting .270 at home and be that close to .500 is surprising. And then factor in how much higher that average is than last year, you'd think the Mets would be dominating at home. Sure, the ERA is higher, but it's not that much higher, and it's still a very good ERA. The road averages are very impressive, and certainly explain the good road production, but I'm surprised at the stat comparison there.
The biggest reason, I think, for the Mets' struggles at home, is Carlos Beltran. Beltran has struggled at Shea, and that has continued this year. Even last year, his best as a Met, Beltran was awful at home. Here's a breakdown of Beltran's last three years at home and on the road:
(This was a bad year all around, and Beltran actually played well at Shea)
Home: .275, 6 HR, 34 RBI
Away: .258, 10 HR, 44 RBI
Home: .224, 15 HR, 38 RBI
Away: .317, 26 HR, 78 RBI
2007 (so far, and keep in mind he has had a stint on the DL)
Home: .251, 5 HR, 23 RBI
Away: .275, 19 HR, 52 RBI
The past two years' differences at home and on the road for Beltran are eye-popping. Last year, Beltran was protected by a great season by Carlos Delgado, who spread his power pretty evenly between home and road games (18/20 HR, 55/59 RBI....though he hit just .226 at home while going .304 on the road). This year, with the slow starts the Mets' hitters have gotten off to, no one has been picking up the slack, and the Mets' record has suffered as a result.
The Mets now come home to face San Diego and Los Angeles - the Padres, incidentally, have the best pitching in the majors. The Mets are coming off another very good road trip - 5-1 against the Pirates and Nationals. (I know it was the Pirates and Nationals, but the Mets swept Washington, which is good, and they always struggle in Pittsburgh. They should have swept the Pirates, but for the Mets to just blow one game in Pittsburgh as opposed to two or three means this was a great road trip.) The Mets need to carry that momentum into this homestand...and while they're at it, continue to put some distance between themselves and the Phillies and Braves. And Carlos Beltran needs to pick up where he left off, with two homers on Sunday in Washington.
WRIGHT WATCH: It's back. Here we are, with a month and a half to go in the season, and David Wright is making his annual run at the team record for doubles. Wright hit three between Saturday and Sunday in Washington, to take over the team lead, and get to 30 on the season. In a few years the Wright Watch will become his chase for the all-time doubles record (792), but for now we'll focus on Bernard Gilkey's 44.