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Sunday, July 14, 2013
Gee, like Mets, turns season around

By Adam Rubin

PITTSBURGH -- Dillon Gee, like the Mets, finished the first half strong.

After missing the second half of last season recovering from surgery to repair a damaged artery in his right shoulder, Gee opened 2013 with a 2-6 record and 6.34 ERA through 10 starts.

In fact, entering a May 30 start against the Yankees in the Bronx, there were questions about whether Gee or Jeremy Hefner would get bounced once Zack Wheeler arrived in the majors.

Now, that question is moot, with Gee and Hefner both pitching solidly, and with Jonathon Niese on the DL and Shaun Marcum lost for the season.

Gee evened his record at 7-7 and shaved his ERA to 4.32 after limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates to one unearned run in 6 2/3 innings in the Mets’ 4-2 win at PNC Park that closed the first half.

Gee said afterward he could not ascribe the early season woes to having missed the second half of last season.

“I had a pretty bad first month last year too, and I wasn’t hurt before that,” Gee said. “I don’t think that’s an excuse. I just wasn’t throwing the ball well.”

Given the bullpen’s recently workload, Terry Collins said Gee pitching into the seventh inning Sunday was vital.

“I can’t even hardly explain it,” Collins said. “We needed to get innings. We needed to get him deep in the game, and he gave us that. He was exhausted. I think he probably started to cramp up a little bit. His foot was bothering him. But he gave us everything we needed today.”

As for the foot issue Collins cited, Gee downplayed it.

“I have some blisters and stuff on my feet, and the mound was like rock hard because the sun is just drying it out,” Gee said. “I felt pretty good out there. Stuff-wise, it probably wasn’t the best day. But I just tried to throw a lot of strikes, especially after the guys went out there and got us to an early lead and set the tone the first inning against a good pitcher.”