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CitiFieldaphobia – Who Fears Hitting at Citifield?

NEW YORK - MAY 11: Rod Barajas #21 of the New York Mets hits a 2 RBI double in the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on May 11, 2010 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Dave DoyleCorrespondent IMay 12, 2010

Rod Barajas can hit the ball out of Citi Field. So can Ike Davis . Citi Field does not seem to intimidate the new guys.

David Wright on the other hand has struggled to find his power stoke since leaving Shea Stadium behind. Last year we chalked up some of his power loss to playing in the World Classic and some to Citi Field. This year there are no excuses and I don’t think his power struggles are over just yet.

Although Wright will easily top last years home run totals, many fans I have spoken with seem to think Citi Field has gotten into his head.  Wright hit four of his seven homers on the last six game road trip but he’s still going to have to find a way to hit homers at home.

Of course, I’m also worried about Wright’s strikeouts. He’s on a pace to strikeout over 200 times this year. With 14 strikeouts in the last seven games I tend to think maybe David should have his eyes checked because he’s not seeing the ball correctly.

Then again that would not explain all the walks. He must be seeing the ball correctly because he is successfully laying off so many pitches. It could be a minor change to his prescription. His eyes might have gotten slightly weaker. Just a thought.

Is he still pressing? Last year I can understand David’s struggles and the pressure to be the face of a losing team that physically fell apart. He may have been trying to do too much.

This year, the additions of Jason Bay and Jeff Franceour were supposed to take some of that pressure off of Wright. But it looks like both Bay and Francoeur are also struggling under the pressure.

So I think that hitting at Citi Field has gotten into David’s head and may have gotten into the heads of Bay and Francoeur.

But for the new guys who do not have to play with the same pressure, baseball is fun and the homers are flying. Once Wright, Francoeur and Bay learn to play with the pressure of carrying a large part of the offense they will come around and start hitting too.

But first they must all get over their Citifieldaphobia’s.

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