Hosting the Kansas City Royals this evening for the first time ever at Citi Field, the Mets got off to a quick start, jumping out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to the Captain. Starter Dillon Gee then climbed the hill, and kept the Royals hitless through the first three innings.
The Mets had their opportunities to tack on runs against Kansas City starter Wade Davis, particularly in the second and fourth innings, but left three runners in scoring position. In both instances, Dillon Gee failed to lay down sacrifice bunts with one out. On the mound however, the Mets starter held his ground, keeping the Royals scoreless through the first seven innings, while allowing just three hits, issuing one walk, and striking out four.
After Dillon Gee issued a lead-off walk in the eighth, the bullpen took over, and…, to Mets fans dismay, here’s how things transpired.
Dillon Gee tossed an efficient opening inning, throwing eight pitches and striking out catcher Salvador Perez to end the top half of the frame. In the bottom of the first, center fielder Juan Lagares, batting second this evening instead of Daniel Murphy, slapped an opposite field single down the right field line. After David Wright took a high inside fastball for ball one, Wade Davis doubled-up inside on the next pitch for ball two. On the third pitch David Wright saw from Davis, the Mets Captain launched his sixteenth home run into the left field seats for a 2-0 Mets lead.
After two innings, Dillon Gee had limited himself to just fifteen pitches. The second inning featured very nifty plays by Daniel Murphy, and Marlon Byrd, who made a diving catch in right on a flare off the bat of Alcides Escobar.
In the bottom of the second, the struggling Ike Davis singled in his first turn at-bat. Then Omar Quintanilla squibbed a grounder through the first base hole for another base hit. That brought up the pitcher Dillon Gee with runners on first and second, and one out, but Gee was unable to help his cause, striking out on three pitches. With two outs, Eric Young dug in for his second at-bat, but likewise struck out swinging to end the frame.
Dillon Gee issued his first walk to second baseman Elliot Johnson leading-off the top of the third, but bounced back to strike out the next batter, center fielder Jarrod Dyson. Pitcher Wade Davis then stepped in with one out, and successfully sacrificed Johnson to second base. With two outs, lead-off hitter Alex Gordon dug in for his second at-bat, and became Dillon Gee’s third strikeout victim.
The Royals collected their first hit off Dillon Gee in the top of the fourth, a one out single by Salvador Perez. Dillon then struck out third baseman and clean-up hitter Mike Moustakis on a change-up. Right fielder David Lough followed with a fly to Eric Young in left to end another scoreless inning tossed by Dillon Gee. Through four full innings, Dillon had thrown fifty-six pitches, thirty-nine going for strikes, for a effective rate of seventy percent.
Ike Davis collected his second hit of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Omar Quintanilla then followed with his second hit of the game. Dillon Gee came up once again with two runners on, and one out. With a second chance, Gee repeated the failure of his first at-bat, and looked at a curve ball for strike three. With two outs, Eric Young then beat-out an infield single to load the bases for Juan Lagares. But the young Mets center fielder lofted an easy fly to right ending the threat.
Dillon Gee retired the Royals in order in the fifth. He had thrown sixty-eight pitches to that point, forty-seven for strikes – and effective rate of sixty-nine percent, and was managing thirteen pitches per inning.
After allowing a single to Juan Lagares and David Wright’s first inning home run, the Mets managed six more hits of Wade Davis through the first five, but nothing more. Davis walked no batters and struck out five. He was up to 102 pitches on the evening.
The Royals recorded their second hit off Gee in the top of the sixth inning, an infield single by pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell. He reached second base, but got no further. Dillon Gee recorded his sixth scoreless inning of work, with an economy of eighty-one pitches thrown.
The Royals turned to their bullpen for the bottom of the sixth, bringing in hard throwing right-handed reliever Kelvin Herrera. His first pitch to John Buck was 98mph. Buck struck out and took out his frustrations on the bat rack. Meanwhile, with Ike Davis on first with two outs, Coach Terry allowed Dillon Gee his turn at-bat against Kelvin Herrera.
Gee climbed the hill for the seventh inning clinging to a slim 2-0 lead. The Royals collected their third hit off Gee, a single by David Lough. With two outs, an E-3 set up runners at first and third for center fielder Jarrod Dyson. First, Elliot Johnson stole second base without a throw from Buck. Facing a very dicey situation, Dillon Gee then threw his ninety-ninth pitch of the evening and induced Dyson into lofting an easy fly to Eric Young in shallow left to end the Royals threat and preserve the shutout.
On to pitch the bottom of the seventh, Louis Coleman was the second reliever out of the Royals bullpen, and retired the Mets in order.
Terry Collins sent his starting pitcher back out to the mound for the eighth. His 100th pitch of the evening went for ball one to Lorenzo Cain, who eventually drew a five pitch walk. Then out came Terry Collins to remove his starter, and into the game came Scott Rice. The reliever hit the first batter he faced, Alex Gordon, to set up first and second with no outs. First baseman Eric Hosmer then stepped in, and topped a chopper to Rice, who was only able to secure the force play at second base. With first and third and one out, Terry Collins brought in LaTroy Hawkins to face catcher Salvador Perez. A grounder to Wright couldn’t quite make it around the horn in time to complete a double play. And so Lorenzo Cain scored the first Royals run from third on the play. Then, a remarkable recovery by Ike Davis to snare a sharp grounder hit by Moustakas, and a likewise play on the back end by LaTroy Hawkins got the Mets out of the inning with no further damage.
The Mets faced Louis Coleman again in the bottom of the eighth, and again, he retired the Mets in order.
Dillon Gee was responsible for the runner on first, and so he pitched seven full innings, allowed just three hits, one run, walked two and struck out four before departing the game on the winning side. His ERA is now below four – lowered to a 3.97 mark.
Into the ninth they went. In the absence of closer Bobby Parnell, Terry Collins placed the game in the hand of reliever David Aardsma. He promptly surrendered a lead-off double to thirty-nine year old pinch-hitter Miguel Tejada. Aardsma then walked Escobar on five pitches. Elliot Johnson then stepped in, and laid down a beauty of a bunt. Billy Butler was sent up as a pinch-hitter, and was intentionally walked by the Mets to load the bases. Lorenzo Cain followed with one out and sent a sacrifice fly to center field which drove in the tying run from third. Pedro Feliciano was then summoned from the bullpen, and secured the third out.
In the home ninth, the Mets faced reliever Aaron Crow. Ike Davis led-off last licks with a double into the right field corner. Omar Quintanilla expertly bunted pinch-runner Andrew Brown over to third. Pinch-hitter Justin Turner then stepped to the plate with the infield playing in, and struck out on three breaking balls. Eric Young was intentionally walked to load the bases for Juan Lagares. On a 2-2 pitch, Lagares bounced to second base, sending this game into extra innings.
Saturday’s scheduled starter, Carlos Torres pitched a scoreless tenth inning, but not before he and Justin Turner suffered a defensive miscommunication at first base.
In the bottom of the frame, David Wright pulled up lame while running safely to first base, with what appeared to be a pulled right hamstring muscle. Zack Wheeler was sent in to pinch-run for Wright. Marlon Byrd worked out a walk and sent the winning run to second base with Murphy due up against Kansas City’s Luis Mendoza. With no outs, Daniel Murphy (0 for 4) grounded into a fielder’s choice. Wheeler moved over to third on the play. With one out, John Buck lined into a 6-4-3 double play.
Carlos Torres pitched a scoreless eleventh inning, as Marlon Byrd made his second sensational catch in right field. In the bottom of the frame, Eric Young launched a ball into the right field Modell’s netting for a two run, game winning home run. For Young, that was his first home run as a Met.
Mets win 4-2!
Carlos Torres gets credit for the victory in relief.
- DEFENSE: Daniel Murphy made a nice play, reaching to his left in the second inning, followed by a diving catch by Marlon Byrd in right. Byrd again made a stellar play in the eleventh inning.
- Dillon Gee’s change-up was clearly his best pitch of the night, and was similarly throwing his knuckle-curve for strikes. He battled and persevered through the seventh inning, when a base hit could have easily tied the game.
- Line-Up Changes: Juan Lagares batting second, Daniel Murphy moved down to the fifth spot, and Ike Davis pushed down to seventh.
- Ike Davis: 3 for 3, double, two singles, walk.
- John Buck’s wife’s due date is today/tonight. Good luck John and congratulations!
- Eric Young! …and hello Pedro Feliciano. Welcome back.
- After David Wright’s first inning home run, the Mets left six runners on base, and three runners in scoring position through the first four innings. There were too many runners left in scoring position throughout the game.
- John Buck assaulted an unsuspecting bat rack after striking out against Kelvin Herrera.
- Dillon Gee’s inability to lay down a sacrifice bunt…twice. On the mound, all he earned for his stellar effort was his seventh no-decision of the season.
- Aaron Crow’s breaking ball was ridiculously good.
- I can’t believe this game went into extra-innings!
- David Wright pulled his hamstring in the tenth inning. Details pending.
The Mets need a starting pitcher for tomorrow afternoon’s game. Carlos Torres was scheduled to face Kansas City’s Bruce Chen. Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 1:10pm start.