We've heard much about the Mets hitting IN the wrong field (Citi that is), but now Rob Neyer is quoting John Harper as stating that the Mets were hitting to the wrong field (see Mr. Neyer's post here). Apparently, everyone's favorite whipping boy, Tony Bernazard, the deposed Mets' executive was not only rude, but misguided in his hitting approach. According to Mr. Harper, Bernazard insisted that the major league club hit more to the opposite field. Mr. Neyer wondered if the numbers back that up. They do indeed.
In 2008, the Mets had 706 plate appearances where the ball was hit to the opposite field (the stats will be broken further later). In 2009, that number increased to 863. The Mets hit 2719 balls up the middle in 2008 and that number was down to 2661 last year. In the pull category, you can really see the difference. In 2008, the Mets pulled the ball in 1216 plate appearances. That number dropped to 1157 last year.
Was the philosophy the problem or was it not having the same players doing the hitting due to injuries? Well, that's harder to determine without more study. But what is clear is that the Mets rock when they pull the ball and become Miguel Cairo when they don't. Here are the numbers broken out a bit:
2008 (where the ball went, number of plate appearances, OPS)
LHOF - 447 - .830
RHOF - 259 - .585
LHM - 1621 - .727
RHM - 1098 - .728
LHP - 660 - 1.020
RHP - 556 - 1.257
LHOF - 450 - .745
RHOP - 413 - .746
LHM - 1411 - .745
RHM - 1236 - .746
LHP - 609 - .863
RHP - 548 - 1.137
Numbers from the one and only http://www.baseball-reference.com/.
The numbers speak for themselves. Where do you think the Mets should try to hit the ball?