You guys have probably noticed that Citi Field has been more like Citi Morgue the last few years. In 2013, the Mets were 33-48 at home. The Mets are the same team at home and on the road, but why did they play like different teams? Therefore, scholar that I am, I looked into some stats and did some research to hazard a guess at why. This is what I found. It may or may not be the right explanation, but it will no doubt foster a lot of discussion among the community which is what this is all about.
Let's start with the basics: THE METS WERE HORRIBLE AT HOME IN 2013. Hopefully after this breathtaking display of charts and PAINTZ you will all be convinced that the Mets were a disaster at home in 2013.
|2013 Mets at Home||2013 Mets on the Road|
|Record: 33-48||Record: 41-40|
|Runs Scored: 268||Runs Scored: 351|
|Runs Allowed: 337||Runs Allowed: 347|
The Mets were brutal at home. Their Pythagorean win percentage, at .387 was actually lower than their actual winning percentage of .407. However, the Mets were a significantly better team on the road with their actual winning percentage and Pythagorean win percentage right around .506. The Mets were above .500 on the road and their record was as good as if not better than FOUR playoff teams. Why was there such a discrepancy between home and road records? Oh wait, this is Amazin Avenue and I haven't even presented a bit of advanced statistics yet like RBIZ and DINGERZ. I should do that.
|2013 Mets at Home||2013 Mets on the Road|
|ERA: 3.60||ERA: 3.98|
|FIP: 3.89||FIP: 3.68|
|xFIP: 3.81||xFIP: 3.91|
|wRC+: 83||wRC+: 96|
|BABIP: .273||BABIP: .309|
|LD%: 19.7||LD%: 20.2|
|GB%: 41.9||GB%: 46.3|
|FB%: 38.4||FB%: 33.5%|
|K%: 23.2%||K%: 21.4%|
|BB%: 8.7%||BB%: 7.8%|
|Total Hits: 593||Total Hits: 725|
|DINGERZ: 59||DINGERZ: 71|
|DINGERZ as percentage of total hits: 9.95%||DINGERZ as percentage of total hits: 9.79%|
So, what can we conclude from this pot of data? First things first: pitching was most definitely not the problem. The Mets at home arguably pitched better than the Mets on the road.
Alright.....so what was the problem? Obviously, it was the offense. The Mets scored less runs at home and had a much worse wRC+. Some might point to the big discrepancy in BABIP to suggest that the Mets were unlucky at home but I don't think that is the case. Might it be that the Mets played at home with a different mindset? Perhaps more of a 3 outcome mindset instead of a Daniel Murphy grission mindset? When you think about it, Daniel Murphy is the polar opposite of a 3 outcome hitter. The numbers certainly back this up. On the road, the Mets hit more line drives, more ground balls, and less fly balls. For a team lacking in power hitters, flyballs mean flyouts and not homeruns. The batted ball data certainly supports that the Mets should have had a higher BABIP on the road. Furthermore, the Mets walked more, struck out more, and hit a higher percentage of homers compared to their total hits at home. They were more of a 3 outcome team at home whereas on the road they put the ball in play more and didn't swing for the fences. Did the Mets suck at home because they were trying to swing for the fences? 1 season of data is a pretty small sample size so let's take a trip back down memory lane.
R.A. DIckey points to himself
Good times, no? Alright got sidetracked there. This is what I meant to say
The 2012 Mets were a tale of two halves, especially at home. That is especially convenient because the 2012 Mets told us what to do and what not to do at home!
|2012 Mets at Home 1st half||2012 Mets Home 2nd half(Avert Your Eyes)|
|Record: 26-20||Record: 10-25|
|Runs Scored: 188||Runs Scored: 99|
|Runs Allowed: 174||Runs Allowed: 173|
|Actual Win%: .565||Actual Win%: .286|
|Pythagorean Win%: .539||Pythagorean Win%: .247|
|Hits: 375||Hits: 263|
|DINGERZ: 35||DINGERZ: 29|
|DINGERZ/Hits: 9.33%||DINGERZ/Hits: 11.02%|
While we are talking about Pythagorean stuff I feel obliged to include this:
Anyways, the Mets were just a horrible baseball team in the second half of 2012. However, once again we see that pitching was not a huge problem as the 2012 Mets allowed 1 fewer run at home in the second half of 2012 than they did in the first albeit in less games. However, the offense once again was dormant in the second half. To find out the hits to homers ratio I painstakingly went through every single game the Mets played at home in 2012 and scrounged the box score. It was a truly unprecedented show of motivation(or #want) that I have not and most likely will not ever show again outside work. Anyways, the results back up the theory. In the first half of 2012, the Mets played more small ball and sent just over 9% of their total hits over the wall. In the second half of 2012, the Mets couldn't do anything right, yet they still sent a whopping 11% of their hits over the wall at home. Once again, we have revealed that when the Mets swing for the fences, bad things happen.
So, what do you guys think? Do you think that the Mets trying to hit more homers and trying to be more patient might be a reason why they have struggled so much at home over the last season and a half? I think the evidence presented here points in that direction, but I am sure that different people have different theories and I would love to here them. One thing we can agree on is definitely this: how the Mets play at home will be crucial to success or failure next year. I think the job of the coaches should be to get the guys like Granderson and Chris Young to not swing for the fences as much(especially Granderson), and instead tell them to hit more line drives and balls into the gap in order to use their speed and athleticism ala Granderson of 2007. Anyways, I hope this post fosters some interesting discussion as we sit here on a cold and snowy February night a week away from Spring Training. Sound off in the comments. A quick poll first.