Baseball is a game of statistics where numbers can prove almost anything.
Already this season there are some interesting things to observe with the New York Mets, including the well-documented fact that they have the best home record in all of baseball despite the worst road record in the National League.
Here are a dozen lesser-known facts about the Mets offense and how it compares with their NL East rivals.
• The Mets have a .300 on-base percentage leading off the game with one lone extra-base hit. To put it into perspective, the Washington Nationals are batting .311 with four triples.
• No team in the NL East is hitting left-handed pitching as well as the Mets. New York is batting .291 as a team against southpaws. By contrast, the Mets' .237 average against righties is dead last in the division.
• New York has fewer home runs (one), RBI (40), and extra-base hits out of its two middle infield positions than any other club in the NL East, but Rod Barajas has hit twice as many home runs as any combination of catchers in the division combined.
• The Mets are hitting just .196 when they fall behind in the count, which is the worst in the division, but they have hit more home runs (12) than any of their divisional opponents when in a pitcher's count (0-1, 0-2, or 1-2).
• The Mets lead the NL East with a .393 batting average on the first pitch of an at-bat.
• The Mets are batting a pitiful .196 with the bases loaded. No other team in the division is even close to the Mendoza line, and even the second-to-last Braves are batting 62 points higher. Leading the way are the Nationals and their ridiculous .442 average (19-for-43).
• With 20 home runs in 28 home games, the Mets are on course to hit 57 at Citi Field in 2010, breaking the record of 49 they set during the ballpark's inaugural year. Still, it would rank dead last in the majors.
• Twice this season and once last year at Citi Field, the Mets put together a string of six home games where they didn't allow a home run. In the previous 20 years of the franchise's history, the Mets have accomplished this feat on just two occasions.
• David Wright is currently third in the Majors in strikeouts. The last Met to lead the league in Ks was Dave Kingman in 1982 (shared with Reggie Jackson). Kingman is the only Met to ever lead the NL in strikeouts. If Wright finishes third, he will be the first Met to rank in the top three in NL strikeouts since Todd Hundley in 1996. Before last season when Wright finished eighth in the NL in strikeouts, the last Met to rank inside the top 10 was Mike Cameron (10th, 143 Ks) in 2004.
• Jason Bay leads the Mets with a .382 BABIP (batting average for balls in play), good enough for sixth in all of baseball and second in the NL. Bay has always been considered somewhat of a "lucky" hitter, but the high BABIP value goes some way to explaining his .299 average—the second highest of his eight-year career.
• Jeff "6-4-3" Francoeur has a reputation for killing big innings with his tendency to ground into double plays. But he is not, in fact, the worst culprit. Wright has hit into six double plays out of a possible 43 situations when there was a runner on first with fewer than two outs (14 percent). Out of all National League East batters with more than 30 at-bats with a runner at first and fewer than two outs, Francoeur is joint sixth behind Wright, Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez, Ryan Zimmerman, and league leader Pudge Rodriguez (10-of-32, 31 percent).
• There have been 39 players in the NL East who have had more than 100 plate appearances so far this season. None of them have taken a higher percentage of called strikes looking (43 percent) or fewer strikes swinging (three percent) than Luis Castillo. Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz (38 percent and eight percent respectively) is closest in both categories.