When being graded in school, most students strive for an A. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the Mets are hoping for a G. Specifically, Dillon Gee.
Due to Chris Young being placed on the disabled list, a beleaguered bullpen and consecutive double headers, Terry Collins will give the ball to Dillon Gee today as the Mets try to snap a seven game losing streak against the Atlanta Braves before returning home. During the recent skid, Mets starters have pitched 39 innings, posting an ERA of 6.46 and a WHIP of 1.641 (yes these stats include D.J. Carrasco’s spot start, but they also include Chris Young’s seven innings against Washington). The Mets are asking for a lot from the soon to be 25 year old Gee, and I believe he can give it to them.
I wrote about Gee earlier this year, so I won’t repeat myself too much. Some key facts are that he made five starts last season, pitching to a 2.18 ERA and 1.212 WHIP with each start lasting at least six innings. One of those starts was against the Braves on September 18th, in which Gee went seven innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and three walks while striking out three and wound up with the loss when the Mets could only muster two runs against Tim Hudson (who also went seven innings and allowed six hits). He threw 60 of 95 pitches for strikes, a 63.2% clip, and kept the team in the game the entire way. The game might’ve meant nothing to New York, but Atlanta was fighting for the division title, and Gee pitched well, minimizing damage when he was in trouble-something Met pitchers have had difficulty doing this season at times.
In the minors, where his resume is significantly longer, Gee owns a 3.78 ERA, 1.177 WHIP and impressive 4.05 K/BB. His first start at triple A Buffalo this season did not go that well. In 4.2 innings against Syracuse, Gee allowed seven runs (five earned) on four hits and three walks with four strike outs. He threw 50 of 82 pitches for strikes (60.1%) and recorded just three outs on the ground while succumbing to the big inning, yielding four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth after cruising through the first three frames. After a discouraging start to 2011, Gee did what good pitchers do: he bounced back. In his second outing vs. Pawtucket, Gee tossed seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits and two walks while punching out four. 64 of his 99 pitches went for strikes (64.6%) while nine outs came on the ground. The Mets will hope for a similar performance today against the Braves.
Is Gee a future ace? No. Does he have the buzz and hype that go along with a Jenrry Mejia or a Matt Harvey? No. But Gee is fresh blood for a pitching staff that has struggled to give the Mets innings and consistency. As Gary Cohen said last night, Collins is looking for something-anything-positive that the team can latch onto in an effort to right the ship. So why not Gee? Why not a guy with only five major league starts? Why not the guy that has virtually no connection with the house of horrors that is Turner Field? If you think I’m grasping at straws and that I’m pinning too much on the right-hander from Texas, look at how the Mets have played so far this season. Gee won’t solve all their problems, but if he leads them to a win, there’s at least something for the team to build upon. At least we all hope so.