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Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Shaky back half of rotation a concern

By Adam Rubin

DENVER -- Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese solidify the Mets for two spots in the rotation. As for the other three-fifths, with Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Aaron Laffey? That's becoming quite the concern.

Gee lasted only 4 2/3 innings in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader, which the Mets ultimately lost, 8-4, to the Colorado Rockies.

Terry Collins said the Mets could absorb the bullpen hit today because the Mets had consecutive games postponed, but the trend needs to reverse itself longer term. Gee will start again Sunday, against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field, according to Collins.

"It's been a few days, so it's not like our relievers are worn out," Collins said. "But ... your starters have to get you into the sixth and seventh innings, because you can blow out your bullpen here in a hurry. Dillon is the kind of a guy, when he's right, he gets you to the seventh inning because he changes speeds and is tough to hit at times. We've got to get him going."

Collins said he had no physical concerns with Gee.

And Gee, who is still in danger of circulatory issues in extreme cold after last year's shoulder surgery, said he was not affected by the extreme weather more than other players.

"There's no concerns there," Collins said.

Said Gee: "It's not fun, but everybody out there is cold, so it's not an excuse. I think it's always an issue in this weather, but everybody has to deal with it. You just do the best you can. It was no different for me than anybody else."

Gee described himself as unfortunate, getting groundballs as desired in key points, but them finding their way past cold infielders whose range was reduced by the weather. Case in point: Todd Helton's game-deciding two-run single past Daniel Murphy that chased Gee in the fifth.

"It's just going that way right now," Gee said. "I get a lot of groundballs that just sneak under gloves and next to gloves."

Said Collins: "We don't want to have to come back here. I mean, it's a great city. We don't want to have to fly back here for a doubleheader or anything else. We want to get the games in. But I could just tell the two days off really hurt us today. As much as the guys wanted to play, the energy level wasn't there. And the weather didn't help. But they had to play in it, too. It's tough to move. It's tough to get that first step."