As of September 20, the Mets sit in 4th place by one game and six perentage points. Our elimination number is two and Barney Stinson is closer to smoking his next cigarette.
The only thing as equally Amazin’ as our 4-23 home record post-All Star break, including 15 straight home games where we scored three runs or less, is the fact that we still sit in fourth place. Are the Miami Marlins that bad of a team that they can’t win two more games than the Mets? Or have the Mets’ successes away from Citi Field helped them avoid the cellar?
I think it’s a little bit of both. During the first half of the season, when the Mets were sitting three games out of first, it was the Phillies who occupied the cellar and made the Marlins look like a better team. Then the All Star break came… Ryan Howard & Chase Utley returned from the DL and Giancarlo Stanton went down for the Marlins. Stanton is the only guy on their team hitting home runs (34) and bringing runners home (81 RBI).
But Jessica, how does Stanton getting hurt help the Mets? Stanton missed about six weeks, including the All Star Game and the Home Run Derby, which he was favored to win. At the trading deadline the Marlins also decided to trade Hanley Ramirez, arguably the face of their team, to the Dodgers. Without perhaps their two most prominent bats, how does a baseball team expect to win games? Good pitching has to help good hitting and vice versa. Neither team has seen much success with that formula, but the Mets squeak by on that front.
The other element that people might contend with is the new dimensions at Citi Field. I think I’ve seen only a handful of home runs that wouldn’t have been home runs with the old dimensions. The walls were brought in to help the Mets players, especially guys like Jason Bay, Ike Davis, and David Wright. Only Ike Davis has hit more than 25 home runs this season. Jason Bay hasn’t even hit 10. Maybe the Mets have seen enough success away from their home field to keep them out of the cellar? Let’s take a look.
The Mets are 7-5 in their last 12 road games, and have a 36-39 overall record away from Citi Field, after going 43-38 away from Citi Field in 2011. Overall, the Mets are 9-14-1 in road series this season. David Wright has a .324 batting average on the road, which ranks among the best in the National League. Ike Davis has hit 20 of his 27 home runs away from Citi Field and his .258 road average looks way better than his .186 home average.
I still check the standings daily to make sure the Mets haven’t slipped into the cellar yet. It’s very possible; 11 of our last 14 games will be against division rivals, including two sets with the Marlins. All the Marlins have to do is win four of their six games with the Mets. The only good thing about finishing in dead last is that the only way you can go from there is up.