Saturday, June 29, 2013
Gee producing despite tendinitis
By Matt Ehalt
Dillon Gee was given extra rest ahead of Saturday's start against the Nationals.
NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee has pitched his best baseball of the season over the past month. And he's done it while battling flexor tendinitis in his pitching arm.
Gee hurled six innings of one-run ball in the New York Mets' 5-1 win over the Washington Nationals on Saturday, admitting afterward that the tendinitis has not flared up as much recently, a positive sign for he and the Mets.
"It actually felt pretty good lately," said Gee, who added that it still takes maintenance. "Hasn't really been an issue."
Gee won for the fourth time over the past six starts by leading the Mets over the Nationals at Citi Field. Gee has now held opponents to one run in four of his past six outings and has pitched to a 2.48 ERA dating back to May 30.
"I haven't felt it midgame like I had," Gee said of the tendinitis. "I think we're doing a good job of keeping it down."
Gee has been dealing with the tendinitis all season, although it started intensifying earlier this month. The Mets have kept a close eye on the issue, even giving Gee two extra days of rest for Saturday. Manager Terry Collins has acknowledged that putting Gee on the disabled list could be a possibility if the issue continued.
The flare-ups have coincided with Gee's best stretch of the season. Saturday's win makes him 4-1 since falling to 2-6 on May 25. Starting with a dominant effort against the Yankees on May 30, Gee has been fantastic ever since.
"I thought the start at Yankee Stadium shot his confidence as high as it could be," Collins said. "He now knows he has good enough stuff, that his arm isn't going to hurt him, that he can make pitches when he needs to make them. It's made a big difference."
Before Saturday's game, Collins said the team has been paying close attention to Gee during his starts. Collins ultimately pulled Gee after just 85 pitches, which seemed premature, but Collins said he saw Gee's velocity dipping and had some concern.
With the All-Star break looming, and the chance for increased time to rest, Collins said the team could move around its rotation to give Gee optimal time for his tendinitis to calm down. While the results were there on Saturday, Gee didn't feel as comfortable as usual with the extra rest.
"I felt a little off today. I don't know what it was," Gee said. "Just tried to battle through, and I think the benchmark for everybody here is seven [innings per start], and I didn't get to that today and hopefully next time I can."