March 2, 2014 published by Keith Gendron
The home opener for the 2014 Mets vs. the Washington Nationals is Monday, March 31 at 1:10pm. As much as it is nice to win the home opener, it isn’t critical if the home team loses. But, besides the pomp and circumstance that revolves around Opening day, it is important for the Mets to play better at home this year. The Mets have a great opening day record all-time at 32-20, 1-2 in March and 1-1 against the Nationals. So, for what it’s worth it would be nice for the Mets to learn to make Citifield an advantage to them. I mean all good teams take advantage of home games. You don’t see playoff teams struggling to play .500 at home.The familiarity of playing half their games at the same field, and sleeping in their own beds favors the host. The first two years of Citifield’s existence the Mets played well at home, as they had at Shea Stadium. In 2009 they won 41 of their 70 games at home. Again in 2010, they improved on that number winning 47 home games of their 79 win total. If they had only, played ,500 ball on the road that year they could have won 88. But, since that season their winning at home and overall has trended downward. In that same period they have played 1 game above ,500 on the road. Last year, their poor 33-48 home record was attributed to meager hitting(.219) derived from poor pitch selection and hence, horrible on base percentage. They have a much more athletic outfield this year. This coupled with good pitching at home should begin to turn the trend around. As much as the organization is trying to drill the concept of batting in hitter’s counts and not giving away at bats, it has to be put in practice and should be their mantra through out the season. Now, that the team has added professional hitters and will have some young,legitimate pitching talent for years to come, the Mets have to turn it around at home in order to finally return to October baseball.