NEW YORK -- A year after the Mets were an above-average team at home but couldn't seem to find consistent success on the road, the exact opposite has been true. As the Mets began a pivotal 10-game homestand Monday, they are 33-27 on the road, but just 22-26 at Citi Field.

"What I see us do at home is change our offensive approach," Mets manager Terry Collins. "I think we take bigger swings. ... I think we're trying to hit the ball harder. You look at our spray charts on the road, we hit the ball all over the place. At home, we pull more balls than we do on the road."

While that may be true, a closer look at the numbers reveals that the Mets have performed virtually the same at the plate at home as they have away, they might just be a little luckier on the road.

The Mets have scored 4.87 runs per game on the road and 4.15 per game at home, but their home on-base plus slugging percentage of .736 is actually eight points higher than that number on the road. If you are more the batting average type, the Mets are a mere six points better on the road than they are at home (.269 to .263), not nearly enough to make much of a difference.

Similarly, the team's batting average on balls in play (BAbip) at home (.310) is virtually identical to what it is away from home (.309). It appears the Mets might just be getting more timely hits on the road than they have at home.

The extra runs New York has scored on the road, lucky or otherwise, would appear to be the difference in its divergent records this season, as the team has given up fever runs per game at home (4.27) than it has on the road (4.43).

Either way, Collins knows his team needs to start performing better at home in the only statistic that truly matters -- wins. With three games against divisional foes Florida and NL Wild Card-leading Atlanta, the coming week will be a critical one for New York's playoff hopes, as it entered Monday's game 7 1/2 games behind the Braves.

"We've just got to make sure we go back and continue to play how we do on the road," Collins said. "Be aggressive on the bases and just put the ball in play -- take your chances here."

Mets push Johan's rehab start back a day

NEW YORK -- Though Mets lefty Johan Santana was strong in his first outing for Class A Port St. Lucie, general manager Sandy Alderson said Monday that Santana won't pitch again until Thursday, instead of his scheduled Wednesday start.

Santana threw three scoreless innings this past Thursday in his first rehab start since having shoulder surgery last September.

"He came back and didn't feel quite as strong as we would have liked," Alderson said. "Rather than force it, we're going to back it off a day and see how he feels tomorrow."

Alderson expressed confidence that the move was not as much a setback as it was a tweaking of Santana's schedule, adding that he would know Tuesday whether it was something more serious. Right now, Alderson said Santana is not feeling as strong as he'd like to feel, but he is not experiencing any pain.

"This is about not only being sensitive to what his body is telling him, but also, mentally, being confident to go out and throw," Alderson said. "That can have a lot to do with the mechanics and the outcome, as well."

In other injury news, Alderson said first baseman Ike Davis will continue running in Arizona for the remainder of the week before the Mets will evaluate him to see where they will go from there. The Mets have said in the past that if Davis isn't able to run without a setback in the near future, he will likely have surgery on his injured left ankle and miss the remainder of the season.

Additionally, Alderson said reliever Taylor Buchholz is unlikely to return to the team this season. Buchholz has not pitched since May 29 due to depression and anxiety issues.

Alderson: Mets quiet during weekend by design

NEW YORK -- Speaking before Monday's series opener against the Marlins, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said the team stood pat this weekend as Sunday's non-waiver Trade Deadline passed in order to see what the current group can do with the remainder of the season.

Alderson and the Mets, of course, were in on two of the most high-profile deals before the Deadline, sending outfielder Carlos Beltran to the Giants last week and closer Francisco Rodriguez to Milwaukee on July 12.

But as Saturday and Sunday came and went, Alderson said there was no plan in action to deal more pieces.

"It was by design," Alderson said of the quiet weekend. "We could have done something, I'm sure, with one or two other players, but we decided on balance that we were better off keeping those players and giving the remaining group as good an opportunity as possible to see how far they could go."

In fact, Alderson said he stayed in New York this weekend -- rather than head to Washington, where the Mets had a weekend series against the Nationals -- to see if he could add a piece, rather than deal another player.

"We wanted to see if there was an opportunity for us to add a reliever and address some of our relief pitching issues," Alderson said. "That didn't happen, but we were in the office Saturday and Sunday not because we were trying to move pieces off the team, but in hopes of maybe adding something."

Alderson did say it's still possible the club could try to bolster the bullpen before season's end, but not to "expect anything dramatic." New York's bullpen posted a 4-2 record and 2.97 ERA in July, by far the bullpen's best ERA of any month of the season.

"I don't want to create the impression that we're out there patrolling for a player," Alderson said. "If it happens, it happens. But right now, I don't expect anything to happen any time soon."

Alderson also said there was interest in closer Jason Isringhausen, but the Mets chose not to pursue it.

"I think everybody's doing a good job, but if [Alderson] can get another quality arm, then so be it," Isringhausen said of the club's outlook. "That's his job, to build a team the way he sees fit. We're always going to welcome additions, it just depends on who we have to get rid of."‬