DENVER -- After Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia each failed to complete five innings during the first three games of the series, the Mets desperately needed a quality performance from Dillon Gee on Sunday.
That’s exactly what they received.
New York Mets
Gee tossed six scoreless innings and was bailed out by Carlos Torres and Scott Rice after allowing the first two baserunners to reach in the seventh as the Mets salvaged the series finale, 5-1, against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
Gee had been at 105 pitches through six innings when Terry Collins allowed him to take the mound for the next frame.
“I’ve said it before: I always feel the need to get deep in the game,” Gee said, downplaying what had transpired earlier in the series as motivation for his performance. “That’s my main goal out there. They made me throw a lot of pitches. I wasn’t helping myself getting behind a lot of guys. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to go out there [for the seventh]. I’m definitely glad Terry let me keep going. I wish I could have gotten some outs in that seventh, but the bullpen did a great job coming in and cleaning that up.”
Said Collins: “We’ve been hanging around that 100-pitch mark, and even less sometimes. I want him to get up there so as we get into the middle of the summer it’s a little easier to throw that 90 to 100 pitches.”
Gee allowed six hits and a walk, but repeatedly fell behind batters. Unlike Mejia, who was battered keeping the ball in the strike zone during an eight-run fifth Saturday, Gee used the Rockies’ aggressiveness against them.
“This team is pretty aggressive. They like to swing the bat,” Gee said. “I’m just thinking about the CarGo [Carlos Gonzalez] at-bat right now. I got behind 3-0 and I threw like maybe one more strike. He was chasing the high pitch. He was aggressive -- and he’s an aggressive hitter. He wants to hit the ball. I just got lucky that he was missing chasing the high pitch.”
Gee said he finally got full command of his curveball as his outing progressed.
“It’s always tough to find that release point here, especially in Coors. We’re not used to it,” Gee said. “It’s tough to put good spin on the ball. I definitely felt like I got better at throwing the curveball for strikes as the game went on. We just utilized that and tried to get ahead with something other than the fastball.”