Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Gee feels better than result suggests
By Christopher Chavez | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- "Frustrated" and "confident" were Dillon Gee's most-used words after the New York Mets' 6-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday at Citi Field.
The right-hander remains searching for himself after getting charged with five earned runs and surrendering two home runs in his third straight loss.
“The most frustrating part is I thought I threw the ball a lot better than I had in the previous couple outings," Gee said. "The main result still isn’t there. It’s very frustrating.”
Gee’s groove has been interrupted. In his first start since a disabled-list stint for a strained right lat muscle, he fared well in seven innings against the Atlanta Braves on July 9, allowing one run while striking out four batters.
After a 10-day layoff including the All-Star break, his ERA has climbed from 2.56 to 3.77 with three subpar starts.
The primary damage came after Gee walked off the mound with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, in his longest outing since the break. On a 2-2 count, Chase Utley belted his fifth career grand slam, this one on a fastball from Josh Edgin into the right-field porch.
“No offense to anyone here, but I left it right down the middle of the plate and put it out there for him to hit it. He did,” Edgin said.
The reliever welcomed a rematch in Wednesday’s series finale.
“I’d like to face him again. Let’s go tomorrow,” Edgin said. “If I execute my pitch there, who knows, he could’ve fouled it off. I could go slider. It could’ve gone either way and it went the totally wrong way it was supposed to.”
Had Utley been retired, Gee’s night would have ended with just two runs over 6 2/3 innings.
Gee has allowed five homers in three second-half starts.
Terry Collins still saw encouraging signs from Gee’s off-speed pitches.
“His curveball was real good tonight. His changeup was good when he needed it. He moved the ball around,” Collins said. “I thought he had some zip on his fastball when he wanted to go up. I thought he threw the ball good. It was a very positive evening.”
Gee threw more than 100 pitches for the first time since his May 4 start in Colorado.
“It seems like I haven’t thrown over 80 pitches in three months," Gee said. "I felt physically fine, but I have to start getting more pitches out there.”
The 28-year-old served up solo homers to Jimmy Rollins in the third and Grady Sizemore in the fourth.
“It's just frustrating, except for the most part I feel a lot better out there than how it looks,” Gee said. “I’m confident going forward that if I can maintain that the result should change.”
Cole Hamels was the opposite of Gee on the mound for the Phillies. The southpaw retired his final 13 batters and finished with eight strikeouts over eight scoreless innings. The last time he blanked the Mets was as a rookie on Aug. 14, 2006, when he also went eight innings and collected nine strikeouts.
“I bet I had four hitters come back and say the changeup is dynamic tonight, so he had it all working,” Collins said. “He’s so good. When he’s on, he’s tough to hit.”