Mets ‘mental’ on the road

Posted on June 8, 2010 by

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Just the other day a friend of mine asked me why Jerry Manuel still has a job. I said it’s because he wins at home. I also joked that perhaps the Mets need to have co-managers, one for home and one for road games.

While the thought of two managers is clearly a joke, their road record is not.

With a three-game sweep of the Florida Marlins, the Mets are now 22-9 at home and 8-18 on the road.

What gives? What is it about this team that they perform so well at Citi Field, but struggle so mightily on the road?

Paging Harvey Dorfman …

The Mets have lost seven games in the final at bat of road games. The Mets have lost six one-run games and six two-run games. Of 18 road losses, only six have been more than two runs (that includes the last game at San Diego when they lost on a walk-off grand slam).

Francisco Rodriguez has been ineffective out of the bullpen. He’s blown two of his three save opportunities on the road. His inability to close games has put a strain on the entire bullpen.

The Mets have hit well with runners in scoring position, but it is compounded when they venture on the road. The Mets have had three games on the road where their lead has been considered “safe” (April 15 at Colorado, April 30 at Philadelphia and May 30 at Milwaukee). In their other five road victories the Mets have had to scratch and claw for every win, including their epic 20-inning affair in St. Louis.

After this week’s three-game homestand vs. the San Diego Padres, the Mets will embark on a nine-game interleague road trip including six games against two of the worst teams in the American League: Baltimore Orioles (16-41) and the Cleveland Indians (21-35). The trip will culminate with a visit to the Bronx to face the Yankees.

The Mets must be aggressive and not make the game more mental than it has to be.

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Posted in: Perspectives