Don't give up on the Mets at Citi Field.
That's the conclusion I've come to.
Or, I guess the lesson I learned on Sunday.
There's just something about the Mets at home this year - they have a definitive home field advantage.
Here's my theory - other teams come in and suffer from "2009 Mets Syndrome". It's what ailed the Mets at Citi Field most of last year - the players tried to change their games to suit the new park, and stumbled at home, going 41-40.
This year, they've learned not to overcompensate for what is clearly a pitcher's park...but other teams still are. And on Sunday, when the Marlins got their 6 runs, it didn't matter, because the Mets have figured out how to manufacture runs in their park. (Well, I guess it helps that they were facing the Marlins bullpen. And that Jeff Francoeur is on a tear - hitting .500 over a 10-game hitting streak.)
But I think there's legitimacy to other teams being intimidated by the big park - when the Mets are no longer intimidated by it - and the Mets' pitchers knowing how to pitch to the expanse. They just haven't been giving up home runs at home.
I mentioned I gave up on the Mets on Sunday - I had been listening to the game on the way back from a weekend in New York. They were down 5-0 when I got home...then I saw them come back to make it 5-3. It started thunderstorming and I took my daughters upstairs to watch the rain from the window - I chose a thunderstorm over a possible Mets comeback! I don't really regret it...but I don't think I'll be making that same mistake again when the Mets are home.
Here are some numbers: overall, the Mets are 22-9 at home. They're 18-4 in their last 22 home games. They have a 9-game home winning streak already under their belts, and are currently working on an 8-game home streak.
That's the stuff champions are made of.
Unfortunately, the Mets are just 8-18 on the road...and unless that changes, they won't come close to a championship.
TUESDAY PROSPECT-IVE: Tuesday night is shaping up to be pretty exciting. Marlins prospect Mike Stanton (remember the middle finger picture?) will make his major league debut the same night the Washington Nationals lift the curtain on Steven Strasburg. Throw in Ike Davis of the Mets and Jason Heyward of the Braves, and the National League East is suddenly full of bright young stars.
THE SECOND TRIMESTER BEGINS: I stumbled across this blog entry from two years ago this week. I compared the way I follow the baseball season to my wife's pregnancy. It's amusing to me, especially considering the fact that, with school ending on Friday, I'm about to enter my "second trimester". Make sure to check the comments for an appropriate, but hurtful, response by my wife. And know that the Southern Bureau has since undergone a serious lifestyle change.