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Mets Go From Horrific to Hellacious at Home

Mets are 42-18 in Citi Field

Citi Field

Citi Field


As the Mets increased their sudden stranglehold on first place this week, they continued to exorcise two demons that had plagued the franchise for years: substandard play at home and depressing collapses in August.

The Mets have reversed their mystifying long-term trend of underperforming at Citi Field with a 42-18 record in Flushing this season. Since losing the stunning, twice-rain delayed Thursday afternoon game to the Padres on July 30 and acquiring Yoenis Cespedes at the trade deadline the next day, the Mets are 7-0 at home. They are 10-2 in the month of August, building a 4.5-game lead over the Nationals in the National League East and headed for what seems to be one of the best Augusts the franchise has enjoyed in decades.

The Mets altered the configurations of their outfield fences before the 2015 season to make the part a bit more home run-friendly. That raised concerns that the renovation might have an adverse effect on the team’s young pitchers, but that has hardly been the case.

Jacob deGrom, who has improved on his 2014 Rookie of the Year performance, is 6-2 with a 1.46 ERA at home this season, and 5-4 with a 2.70 ERA on the road. Noah Syndergaard, who is buttressing his own case for Rookie of the Year honors this season, has embraced Citi Field to an extreme extent while struggling a lot in his road starts: He’s 7-1 with a 1.82 ERA at home and 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA on  the road. Batters are hitting .194 at Citi Field against Syndergaard, but swinging to a high .284 batting average away from New York. Matt Harvey’s splits are not quite as pronounced, but the Dark Knight also pitches noticeably better at home than on the road.

The one starting pitcher who’s been better on the road is Jon Niese, who has a 4.11 ERA at home and a 2.84 ERA on the road.

The hitter who has most greatly embraced Citi Field’s “confines” has been Lucas Duda, who has 21 total home runs so far this season: 18 at home, and three on the road.

The Mets’ sweep of Washington at home two weeks ago not only started their overthrow of D.C., but it also signaled the end of years of Nationals’ rule over Citi Field. Should the Mets continue to embrace playing at home at the rate they have, they need only play around .500 to keep their hold on the division. The Mets are 11-8 on the road dating back to June 25, winning series in Los Angeles and San Francisco and sweeping the Marlins in Miami during that stretch.

Their next four road series’ are all against teams currently with .500 or worse records.

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