Bringing in the fences at Citi Field hasn't made much of an impact in the home-run and pitching stats for the New York Mets and opponents, but the season is still young.
As you'll recall, the Mets made some changes to their outfield fences this offseason, bringing them in (particularly in the power alleys) and adding some new group-seating areas between the old fence and the new one. The changes are popular with both players and fans, and the Mets seem to have pulled off a nice feat: moving in the fences to a fair level of play without making the ballpark a bandbox.
Through the first 20 home games, there have been 26 home runs hit at Citi Field, and that frequency of 1.3 per game is tied (with Wrigley Field) for 13th-best in the National League. Only AT&T Park (0.84), Petco Park (0.96) and Marlins Park (1.24) had produced fewer.
Before Citi's changes are deemed inconsequential, however, consider this: According to ESPN's Home Run Tracker, 10 home runs needed the new dimensions to clear the walls, and if there were only 16 home runs to this point, that drops the average rate to a minuscule 0.80 -- the lowest in either league....
Of the eight home runs that Mets have hit at Citi Field this season, Wright has two, and only one -- the April 7 shot off the Braves' Jair Jurrjens -- was far enough (411 feet) to soar over the former bullpen fence in right-center field. The other, hit April 25 off the Marlins' Mark Buehrle, was a blast as well, flying an estimated 409 feet. But it landed at the far end of the new Party City deck in left-center field -- about halfway up what was formerly known as the Great Wall of Flushing. That's a long double in 2011.
RELATED STORIES: Padres looking at moving in Petco Park fences; Mets retooling: closer fences, more hospitality; Twins: We like Target Field fences where they are; It's official: Mets altering outfield fences for 2012; Mets already reconfiguring Citi Field: report; Mets considering offseason changes to Citi Field
Photo by Kwong Yee Cheng, via flicker.com.
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