The quirks from one ballpark to another are what make baseball great. Some stadiums favor pitchers. Some favor 2nd basemen. Some favor Babe Ruth. Is there any truth to these assertions? And why is Petco Park considered a Pitcher’s Park
A Pitchers Park
A ballpark will get tagged with this label when the confines are deemed to sway in the advantage of pitchers. This means the offense has to work harder to score runs. Parks with a larger outfield, for example, are usually considered pitcher’s parks because fewer balls sail over the fence as home runs. The exception to this is Coors Field in Colorado, which has the third largest outfield yet because of its high altitude coughs up the 2nd most home runs in major league baseball. Certainly not a park visiting pitchers look forward to.
Marine LayerConversely, Petco Park is often blanketed by San Diego’s marine layer, which has a dutch oven effect dampening escaping balls making for an easier day for pitchers.
Other weather factors also come into play. A hotter stadium can see more balls fly. And consistent winds can play a role in keeping balls in or lifting them out.
More Pitcher Friendly DetailsShort fences can hurt a pitcher’s chances of fairing well. But a stadium like Oakland’s benefits from a vast foul ball area. More pop-fly fouls caught means fewer at-bats to score.
Why is Petco Park A Pitchers Park
Ironically Petco recently shortened the run to the centerfield wall at a short pooch of only 396 feet. So why do the Padres have the reputation of playing in a pitcher friendly ballpark? It is a combination of the marine layer and a very dense wind blowing in from the ocean. Additionally, Petco has long and commodious power alleys over 400 feet.
The least pitcher friendly ballparks? Coors Field, Arlington Stadium (Texas Rangers) and Yankee Stadium. Thanks Babe!
Petco Park Insider is your guide to enjoying games in San Diego at the Padres baseball stadium. Please join the conversation on Twitter @PetcoParkSD or contact us at Petco Park Insider.
You may also enjoy: