Coming off his best start of the season, Dillon Gee was afforded no favors as Marlon Byrd lost what became a Denard Span double in the right field sun. Ian Desmond would eventually capitalize on it, lacing a two-out single to left to score him, but that would be it an inconsistent first. Gee’s second inning would see him get into some trouble (a double and a single), but he struck out Jayson Werth to end the threat.
Jun 5, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee (35) throws during the second inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit:Brad Mills
-USA TODAY Sports
Byrd would atone for his mistake though, as he followed Lucas Duda‘s double to lead off the second inning with a home run to just left of center. Ike Davis would single, and Dillon Gee nearly doubled him in on a well-struck ball caught by a leaping Steve Lombardozzi (making the start in left field). They’d tack on more in the third. After a loud fly out to start the third by Omar Quintanilla, Daniel Murphy singled to snap an 0-14 streak, and Wright launched his eighth home run to left center. Two batters later, Marlon Byrd went deep again to left field to increase the lead to 5-1.
Adam Laroche pushed a perfect bunt into the shift for a hit in the bottom of the third, but Gee otherwise pitched a clean third inning, picking up his second strikeout. Roger Bernadina pinch hit for Haren (who was chased after four innings) and laced a double over the head of Ike Davis. Strikeouts to Span and Werth would strand the sixth and seventh Washington runners though.
Craig Stammen, after walking Murphy and giving up a base hit to David Wright, struck out Lucas Duda and Marlon Byrd but couldn’t get himself out of trouble. Six straight balls loaded the bases and put him behind on Anthony Recker, who laced a single into left to plate two runs [Fun fact: That was Recker’s first career hit with a runner in scoring position.] Juan Lagares ripped a single to load the bases (Davis stopped at third despite Tim Teufel‘s go sign). Dillon Gee worked a ten-pitch at bat, but stranded the bases loaded and left the Mets with just a 7-1 lead.
Quintanilla doubled to lead off the sixth. Daniel Murphy and David Wright struck out, the latter on a controversial call, and Wright got into it a good bit with home plate umpire Marty Foster. Gee, meanwhile, really settled down after the fourth. He retired seven in a row until Kurt Suzuki doubled with two out in the sixth, but a strikeout of Tyler Moore kept things quiet.
The Mets tacked on three more in the seventh when, after Marlon Byrd walked, Anthony Recker drilled a double off the left field wall. Back-to-back singles by Juan Lagares and Dillon Gee brought Recker home. Two batters later, Daniel Murphy laced his NL-leading 19th double over Lombardozzi’s head to push the score into double digits.
Gee would give up a hit in the seventh, but completed the inning without issue. His ERA dropped to 5.20 on the season. His line: 7IP, 9H, 1BB, 1ER, 7K. Greg Burke pitched the eighth, allowing only a double to recently-recalled Anthony Rendon. Robert Carson pitched the ninth and hit his first batter, but got the next three hitters to secure the win.
Jun 5, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcherDan Haren
(15) watches New York Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) round the bases after a two run home run during the second inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
> Daniel Murphy (2-4, 2B, BB) and David Wright (2-5, HR) both seem to be heating up. It’s fair to say that as they go, the Mets offense will follow.
> I didn’t think I’d say it, but I’m going to say it – Daniel Murphy is a pretty damn good second baseman. The MLB Network caught some flak when they named Murph one of the majors’ top ten second basemen; he’s currently third in UZR and sixth in fWAR.
> Dan Haren, who has had issues with home runs, surrendered three in four innings.
> Lineup cameos by Juan Lagares and Anthony Recker worked out, as they combined to go 5-10 in the 7 and 8 spots. Recker doubled his RBI total.
> Small sample size, but speaking of Recker – since April 13th, John Buck is hitting .184/.255/.313. Recker is now hitting .200/.286/.400 on the season, arguably earning himself some more playing time. Given his work with Dillon Gee in his past two starts, I’d imagine that he’ll be catching Gee’s starts for the foreseeable future.
> With a double in the sixth inning, Omar Quintanilla has reached base safely in every game he’s played this year, and has an extra base hit in four straight hits, and Dillon Gee’s seventh inning single meant that every Met in the lineup had a hit. Spots 2-8 each reached base twice.
> Marlon Byrd, since May 1st: .278/.338/.597, 7 home runs, 18 RBI. His .255/.310/.489 line on the season is remarkably similar to Scott Hariston’s .263/.299/.504 with the Mets last season. Hairston, meanwhile, currently has a .622 OPS with the Cubs this season.
Save some of that offense for tomorrow! But seriously though, the Mets needed a win like this in the worst way. It was also great for Gee to have another solid start. It started out rough, but he buckled down very well and came through it cleanly. The offense was great, with big games from the rarely-seen Anthony Recker and Juan Lagares, both of whom are making statements for more playing time.
In his last two starts, Gee allowed 14 base runners (13H, 1BB) and two earned runs against 19 strikeouts in 14.1 IP. Jeremy Hefner, who he is most likely competing with to save his job, posted 13 hits and a walk against four earned runs and twelve strikeouts in his last two outings. Hefner has been the more consistent pitcher this season, but Gee is forcing his way back into the discussion. Each pitcher will likely get one more start (Hefner against the Marlins, Gee against the Cardinals) before Zack Wheeler is expected to be called up.
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