Ever since Citi Field opened it’s doors, home run hitters have been M.I.A. Well at least most of them, except for a few notables a la Mark Reynolds, Troy Tulowitzky, and Ike Davis. Citi Field has been the home run twilight zone, leaving hitters scared shitless.
That was until recently. Citi Field has inexplicably been producing home runs at record pace in this early part of the 2011 season. Now, don’t get your panties in a bunch as we know it’s only been a handful of home games to date. But it’s something to take note about nevertheless considering the Citi Field home run taboo.
As of Monday, Citi Field is 6th out of all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks in home runs, averaging 2.33 dingers per game according to the folks over at Hit Tracker. That’s good for 3rd highest in the National League. Rangers Ballpark in Texas leads the way with 3.08 home runs/game, with the Yankees second in the league at 2.82. The Arizona Diamondbacks lead the National League with 2.50 home runs/game, slightly more than Citi Field.
It’s likely things will fall back to normal as the season progresses and home runs at Citi Field will eventually taper off some. But right this minute, home runs at Citi Field are flying out at an alarming rate, and with ease.
The past four home games have produced nine home runs and players such as Ike Davis and Troy Tulowitzki have made it the trendy thing to do of late.
Hit Tracker also lists the park ‘owner’, which basically goes to the player that hit the furthest home run in that park, whether it’s for the home team or visitor. Ike Davis is listed as Citi Field ‘owner’ with a 456 foot blast deep and high into the center field black zone hit on April 21st.
I thought for sure that the monster moonshot Ike hit a few days later on April 23rd, WHICH ALMOST CLEARED CITI FIELD, would be the furthest to date. The Pepsi Porch barely contained that one, check it. That was by far the closest any player has gotten to literally blasting one out of Citi Field.
To put this in perspective, in Citi Field’s first two seasons as a big league stadium, has for obvious reasons been towards the bottom of the pile of stadiums in home runs per game.
In 2009, it’s first season, Citi Field ranked 24th out of 30 teams in home runs per game. When you look closely, Citi could have very easily been last as the bottom seven stadiums were extremely close. The bandbox they call Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was tops in the NL at 2.56 home runs per game.
1st: Yankee Stadium 2.93 home runs per game
25th: Citi Field 1.60
26th: AT&T Park (San Francisco) 1.59
27th: PETCO Park (San Diego) 1.59
28th: Dodger Stadium 1.57
29th: Turner Field (Atlanta Braves) 1.52
30th: Busch Stadium (St Louis Cardinals) 1.48
Citi Field faced the sophomore slump in it’s second season, coming in dead last in the league in home runs per game at a measly 1.36. The Rogers Center in Toronto led the way at 2.92, following by Yankee Stadium at 2.80. Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field topped the NL in 2010 with 2.48 longballs per game.
So what’s the reason for the uptick in homers this year? Have the Mets finally conquered Citi Field? Or is it just something coincidental?
Probably the latter, but we’ll keep an eye on that.