Ballparks were a Factor on New York Mets' Road Trip

By Paul Festa
Daniel Murphy
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets saw two extremes of ballparks on their eight-game road trip, but whether it was the hitter’s paradise of Coors Field in Denver, or the pitcher’s park in Miami, the Mets couldn’t figure out a way to win. New York won two and lost six.

The Mets’ performance was consistent with the environment in which they played. They began the road trip with a scheduled two-game series in Philadelphia. One game was rained out, and one was played in harsh conditions. The cold, damp weather may have reduced the impact Citizen’s Bank Park, which normally favors hitters. The ball didn’t carry the way it usually does, and the Mets walked away with a 5-1 victory.

In Colorado, conditions were ripe for hitting. The ball travels about 10 percent farther at 5,280 feet above sea level on a normal day. The winds were light and the temperatures were in the 70s and 80s — prime weather for batters. In the series, the Mets’ previously anemic offense came to life. They scored 22 runs in four games. Unfortunately, Mets pitching was equally affected.

For the first time all year, a Mets starting pitcher failed to last five innings or more in a game. It happened three times in the four game series. Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia all hit the showers before they could finish the fifth. Colon and Wheeler gave up seven runs, and Mejia was blown up for eight scores in the fifth inning of his start.

Fast forward to the series in Miami. The Mets scored only three runs in the entire three-game set. All three of those runs came in the first game. Two of them came in the first inning of the first game. Mets pitching allowed eight runs over the three-game set, which included bounce-back performances from Wheeler (six shutout innings) and Colon (seven innings, three runs).

So ballpark factor was a factor for the New York Mets, and a typically good road team had a rough go of it. Now they go back home to Citi Field, a park that favors the pitchers. But it’s starting to warm up in New York — temperatures should reach the 70s during the homestand — and Citi plays fairer in fair weather. It could turn out to be a refreshingly balanced park after a road trip of extremes.

Paul J. Festa is a baseball writer for Follow him on Twitter @pauljfesta and add him on Google.

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