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Friday, March 21, 2014
Gee a whiz as Opening Day nod nears

By Adam Rubin

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Dillon Gee continued to breeze into his expected Opening Day start.

Gee limited the Minnesota Twins to one run on five hits while striking out four and walking none in 5 1/3 innings Friday at Hammond Stadium as the Mets won, 9-1. The lone run came on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Wilkin Ramirez, which plated Joe Mauer.

“I located well today with the fastball and the offspeed pitches,” Gee said. “It was all pretty good for the most part. That’s what I am, and it’s there now, so I feel like I’m ready to go. Obviously I work on stuff all year long, though.”

Said Terry Collins: “That was outstanding. Even the umpire said every pitch he threw was going one way or the other. It’s a great sign. He felt great. He’s looked great.”

Gee is expected to oppose Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg on March 31 at Citi Field. It will mark Gee’s first career Opening Day start.

He has been dominant this spring. Including a “B” game against primarily Miami Marlins minor leaguers, Gee has allowed only one run and 16 hits while striking out 12 and walking none in 14 2/3 innings.

Last spring training, still rusty as he returned from surgery to address a blood clot in his pitching shoulder, Gee produced a 5.87 Grapefruit League ERA and walked nine and hit three batters in 23 innings.

Gee, incidentally, insists he only has heard of the Opening Day start secondhand, not officially from his manager.

“I don’t know what starter wouldn’t want to start Opening Day,” Gee said. “It would be a huge honor. ... I’m still waiting on the final word, but everybody is like, ‘Congratulations.’”

So he is not precisely sure what to tell his family.

“I tell them, ‘I haven’t been told yet. I’ll let you know when I do,’” Gee said. “They’re kind of wondering the same thing.”