Jacob deGrom, coming off his impressive performance last night, should not be so surprising, despite his recent struggles coming in. Since deGrom made his debut last season, he has faired much better at home than on the road and the numbers aren’t even close.
Home: Pitching in Citi Field, Jacob deGrom is 9-4 in just over 100 innings. He has a minuscule ERA of 1.61 and an outstanding ration of 22 walks to 101 strikeouts.
Road: Pitching away from Citi Field, Jacob deGrom is 4-6 in almost 88 innings. He has a very pedestrian 4.21 ERA and a less impressive ratio of 34 walks to 86 strikeouts.
Many conclusions can be drawn from these numbers, but here are two that come to mind:
Citi Field is a nice big cozy place to call home. Pitchers can make mistakes that come back to bite you way less often. Home runs in other parks, such as Yankee Stadium, may not even reach the warning track in Flushing. Having this type of home field advantage can do wonders to a pitcher’s mental state and confidence. On nights deGrom is battling himself and may not have his best stuff, he knows he can throw it over the plate and odds are it will stay in the park.
Another thought I have is that, over the last few seasons, the Mets have really struggled at Citi Field, in all aspects of the game. The hitters seemed more relaxed and loose on the road and while I am not quoting specific numbers, played in higher scoring games on the road. Often times, when your offense scores runs for you as a pitcher, you tend to lose a little bit of focus and pitch to the score of the game as opposed to trying to pitch a shutout each time out when you know giving up more than a run may lose you the game.