Home runs allowed by the Mets to opposing pitchers

Dillon Gee reacts after giving up a home run to Mike Minor of the Atlanta Braves - Mike Stobe

Over the past few years, the Mets have given up home runs to pitchers more often than other teams have.

On Saturday, Dillon Gee gave up a two-run home run to the opposing pitcher, Mike Minor of the Atlanta Braves, in the fifth inning of a tie game. It was the second home run Gee allowed against an opposing pitcher this year. In his previous start, which came against the Chicago Cubs on May 19, he gave up a home run to the opposing pitcher, Travis Wood, also in the fifth inning of a tie game.

After Saturday's game, Maggie wondered on Twitter which teams have given up the most home runs to pitchers lately, since it seems the Mets were doing so a lot lately.

From 2006 to 2012, the Mets were bad, but they weren't the worst. That honor belongs to the Cincinnati Reds. My query ignored home runs to pitchers with two appearances or less, hoping to eliminate position players like Jeff Mathis who threw a junk inning or two. It's worth noting that the Reds faced the Cubs a lot and gave up 6 of those 17 home runs to Carlos Zambrano, one of the best hitting pitchers in the game in those seasons.

Num Team HR Allowed to Pitchers, 2006-2012
1 Reds 17
2 Brewers 16
3 Mets 14
4 Astros 14
5 Cardinals 13
6 Nationals 10
7 Phillies 10
8 Pirates 10
9 Braves 10

The list of pitchers who hit home runs against the Mets features some good hitters, too.

Batter Pitcher Date Ballpark
Adam Wainwright R.A. Dickey 9/5/2012 Busch Stadium
Mike Hampton Johan Santana 7/24/2009 Minute Maid Park
Paul Maholm John Maine 5/9/2009 Citi Field
Jason Marquis Jonathon Niese 9/22/2008 Shea Stadium
Brandon Backe Pedro Martinez 8/1/2008 Minute Maid Park
Felix Hernandez Johan Santana 6/23/2008 Shea Stadium
Hong-Chih Kuo John Maine 6/12/2007 Dodger Stadium
Kyle Davies Aaron Sele 5/22/2007 Turner Field
Dontrelle Willis Oliver Perez 9/20/2006 Shea Stadium
Dontrelle Willis Roberto Hernandez 9/20/2006 Shea Stadium
Carlos Zambrano Tom Glavine 7/25/2006 Shea Stadium
Sean Marshall Orlando Hernandez 7/16/2006 Wrigley Field
Dontrelle Willis Jose Lima 7/7/2006 Shea Stadium
Kris Benson Pedro Martinez 6/17/2006 Shea Stadium

Of all of the home runs, only Paul Maholm's home run against John Maine, a shot into the Mo's Zone, was hit at Citi Field. That makes Mike Minor's home run only the second by an opposing pitcher in Citi Field.

Also, the 2006 Mets gave up six home runs to pitchers, including two to Dontrelle Willis in the same game. The spike leads to the Mets showing up high on the list since 2006, but they fall to middle of the pack if the range of seasons starts in 2007 and near the bottom since if it starts in 2009.

To check if this was a recent trend, I ran two more sets of home runs: one from 1993 through 2012 and another from 2001 through 2012. The Mets fall to 5th since 2001 and are 11th on the list since 1993, and Cincinnati still tops both with 47 over the last two decades.

On the 1993-2012 list the Mets are 11th with 28, just one ahead of the Braves.

Num Team HR Allowed to Pitchers, 1993-2012
1 Reds 47
2 Astros 45
3 Dodgers 42
4 Padres 40
5 Expos/Nationals 40
6 Rockies 35
7 Brewers 34
8 Phillies 33
9 Pirates 32
10 Cubs 30
11 Mets 28
12 Braves 27
13 Giants 23
14 Diamondbacks 22
15 Cardinals 22
16 Marlins 17
17 Red Sox 7
18 Rays 7
19 Twins 7
20 Rangers 5
21 Seattle 5
22 White Sox 5
23 Angels 5
24 Tigers 4
25 Toronto 4
26 Baltimore 4
27 Royals 4
28 Yankees 3
29 Indians 1
30 Athletics 1

Overall, allowing home runs to opposing pitchers seems to have a lot to do with the ballpark in which a team plays, balanced out with a little bit of luck and the quality of the opposing hitters. It's just one of those interesting bits of trivia that makes baseball, specifically baseball without the designated hitter, so much fun.

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