Mets first half Road Warriors of 2019: Top performers away from Citi Field
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets have finished their first-half road schedule for 2019. Despite an abysmal road record, these five men have performed well away from Citi Field.
The New York Mets won’t play another game away from Citi Field in the first half of the 2019 season. Unlike years past, the team actually performed far worse on the road than at home.
At 17-31, they are often road dogs. What they need to be are Road Warriors who barnstorm into each city ready to win.
Like we’ve all thought or heard many times in 2019, not everything is horrific with this team. Sure, their playoff chances are nearly impossible. Thanks to some individual performances, the season has not been a complete waste to watch. We can credit these Road Warriors of 2019 for making games away from Citi Field (at times) enjoyable to watch.
The Polar Bear, Pete Alonso, finished his first half on the road with a team-leading 15 home runs. He wasn’t just swinging for the fences. A batting line of .297/.373/.621 greatly outduels his home slash line.
Although he’s averaging a strikeout per game on the road, Alonso has more hits away from Citi Field than strike three calls. His 54 hits are second on the team with his 35 RBI also leading the team. Amed Rosario, an honorable mention for this list, is second with 24 RBI.
Our ace, Jacob deGrom, has been really good as a visitor this year. In 9 starts, he managed to go 3-3 with a 2.89 ERA on the road. In his 56 innings pitched, he struck out 71 batters and wrapped up the first half with a 1.07 ERA.
Other Mets starters have not been so lucky. Jason Vargas’ 4.34 ERA is the second lowest. Meanwhile, Steven Matz finishes the first half with a 7.07 ERA on the road. Once again, deGrom is an outlier.
Among Mets pitchers who have tossed 10 innings or more on the road, only deGrom and Robert Gsellman have been good on the road. In fact, Gsellman has been quite brilliant when he’s not at Citi Field.
In 28 innings, Gsellman has a 2.25 ERA. He is striking out batters at just above one per inning and has held opponents to a .215 batting average. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone so well at home. Unless something changes before the All-Star Break, he’ll end the first half with a home ERA above 9.00.
There aren’t many areas where Jeff McNeil doesn’t lead the Mets. He leads off the games and he has the highest road batting average at .369. Paired with an away OBP of .423, which is second on the ball club, it’s clear to see why his overall numbers are so spectacular.
McNeil has taken advantage of playing on the road by hitting 4 home runs this season in his “greys.” The team leading 55 hits and 15 doubles also help tell the story of how wonderful he has played as a visitor.
Other than McNeil, Dominic Smith is the only other Mets position player hitting above .300 on the road this year. His .352 batting average comes as a major surprise. Add with it a half dozen home runs, he’s having an awesome year on the road even with just 71 at-bats.
I expect to see more of Smith in the second half this year at home and away. The team needs to build with a plan to play him regularly in left field. This undertaking should help them win more games both in 2019 and beyond.
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Road games have been unkind to the Mets this year. These five mainstays on the roster have, fortunately, given fans who travel to see this team play some reason to stick it out for all nine innings.