The Mets played their last game at Turner Field today, and did their best to make it a good one. Facing Kameron Loe, who was making his first start of the season, the Mets hung up a quick pair of runs. After Eric Young Jr. grounded out to start the game, Daniel Murphy tripled, only to be outdone by Andrew Brown who hit a two-run home run to left. Lucas Duda would double, but be stranded.
Sep 4, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee (35) pitches in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports
The Mets would then load the bases in the second, but Brown would fail to capitalize, flying to right for the third out. Lucas Duda, leading off the third, would line his 12th homer to right field to push the lead to 3-0. That wouldn’t be it for the third, as Justin Turner and Travis d’Arnaud would both single to put runners at the corner for Juan Lagares. Lagares grounded into a fielders’ choice with Turner scoring and d’Arnaud being forced out at second. Juan would come around to score the fifth run – after a ground out by Omar Quintanilla pushed him to second, Dillon Gee would single him home for the fifth Mets run.
Speaking of Gee, meanwhile, he would get off to a brilliant start. After a close pitch was called ball four, Gee would be put in some trouble when, with one out, Eric Young Jr. would misplay a Freddie Freeman ball putting runners at second and third with only an out. Gee would get both Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird swinging to end the threat, and would continue to cruise until the fifth inning, when Dan Uggla and Paul Janish would both single to open the frame. Longman Freddy Garcia would bunt Janish to second. BJ Upton would bring Uggla home on a sacrifice fly to right, but his brother grounded out to end the threat.
Gee’s day would end after seven strong innings, giving up one earned run on 4 singles and a walk. Of the 102 pitches Gee threw today, 78 were strikes. Kameron Loe, conversely, failed to finish the fifth inning, throwing 102 pitches of his own. He allowed five earned runs on 11 hits and 3 walks. He gave up a pair of dingers to Brown and Duda, and didn’t strike out a batter.
Andrew Brown drew a 2-out walk in the eighth off Anthony Varvaro but the Mets wouldn’t threaten there. Vic Black would come on to pitch the bottom frame behind a fantastic outfield defense (Matt Den Dekker came in as a defensive replacement for Brown) and got a pair of pop ups before being taken a long way out by Freddie Freeman. Evan Gattis followed that up with a 2-out double to start putting some pressure on the new pitcher. The next pitch was in the dirt, moving Gattis to third for catcher Gerald Laird. After Dan Warthen visited Black on the mound, Laird popped his next pitch to Lucas Duda to end the threat and send it to the ninth.
- Gee’s resurgence continues. Over his past 18 starts, he’s thrown 123.2 innings and a 2.40 ERA. He’s failed to complete six innings just once over that span and has averaged almost exactly seven innings per start in the other 17 with a 2.14 ERA.
- Lucas Duda had a solid game today, going 3-5 and falling a triple shy of the cycle. The Ike/Duda debate is likely going to continue well beyond this season (regardless of who they choose), but what’s more important than who’s playing first is that the Mets get production from the position.
- Andrew Brown had a good day today, going 1-4 with a walk and a long home run in the first inning. Brown had a fantastic month of August (.357/.386/.571) but had run into a mini-slump, going 1 for his last 10 before the home run. Brown’s playing time has been limited, but he’s offered some encouragement with his strong play of late. He’s got a very good chance of making the team next year, and could be a candidate for a corner outfield position should a need present itself.
- The Mets finished the season 9-10 against the Braves. While a losing record isn’t something to be proud of, it’s worth noting that the other three NL East teams are a combined 13-31 against Atlanta.
Dillon Gee continues to be fantastic, winning his 11th and never seeming fazed today. For someone who was a serious injury concern coming off a shoulder procedure, Gee has put together what’s, in all, a very good season. He likely has four more starts this season, and has a reasonable chance of reaching 200 innings for the season.
Much to the ostensible chagrin of Major League Baseball, the Mets will have plenty of time to relax now. They travel to Cleveland and have an off day before playing the Indians at 7:10. For a team that once played 5 games in a 72-hour window this year, getting a full 51 hours until their next baseball game will be much welcomed.