In the last week or so, Jason Bay has looked like his old all-star form. Yes, he has looked exponentially better at the plate, blasting one, nearly two, home runs against the A’s Tuesday night, but if you look at his split stats over his disappointing tenure as a Met, you will see a common theme that could be the reason for his recent hot streak.
In interleague play in 2010 and 2011, Jason Bay has batted .306(26-for-85) with 4 homers and 14 RBIs in just 25 games. Those four homers account for nearly half of Bay’s nine home runs in parts of two seasons with the Mets. That would be on pace for 26 homers and 91 RBIs in the course of a 162-game season. Those figures are exponentially better than his .249 average, 9 homers and 62 RBIs that Bay has compiled over 144 career games as a Met.
As we know, Bay has not lived up to his 4-year $66 million contract to begin his tenure as a Met, in the slightest. He has gotten worse in 2011, not better, until as of late he suddenly found his stroke. Since being benched to work on his swing, Bay is batting .324 with a home run and five RBIs. So it appears that he could be on his way back right? That he might be starting to pull it together right? Considering half of those games came in interleague play, I am not sold.
Here are Bay’s splits:
Although in a much smaller sample, these numbers do show Bay’s incredible differences when facing the American League as a Met. He has his old swing when against the American League. He is confident at the plate, he takes better hacks, and can…well hit the ball! What a concept!
One thing not shown in the chart above is Bay’s slugging percentage. In interleague play from 2010, Bay slugged .636. In 2011, he currently has a .433 when facing the AL. In the rest of his tenure, Bay has a .372 slugging percentage.
This is mostly due to the fact that for the most part, Bay has been surviving on bloops and dribblers for singles against the NL, when in interleague play, the ball has been in the air, and in many cases off the wall, and at times, over the wall.
Jason Bay has been quite the bust for the Mets so far, but when he faces the American League, we get a small glimpse of the $66 million man that the Mets signed in the winter of 2009, and not the utter shell of a once great ballplayer that we have grown accustomed to.
So don’t jump on the “Bay bandwagon” just yet, wait until after interleague play to see if he still performs at this level, because there is a very possible chance that after the Subway Series, he could go back to the bloop-and-dribbler Bay.