New York Mets: Dillon Gee

Morning Briefing: Gee's streak

May, 10, 2014
May 10
9:47
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets have another scoreless innings streak on the line Saturday night, in the second of a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

This streak, they wouldn't mind seeing go on.

Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.51), who starts for the Mets, hasn't allowed a run in his last 16 innings. The streak began with the final two innings Gee pitched on April 22 against the St. Louis Cardinals, continued with eight shutout innings on April 27 against the Marlins, and then with six shutout innings last Sunday in Colorado against the Rockies.

Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 3.58) starts for the Phillies.

The Mets will have another new player Saturday. They announced after Friday night's 3-2, 11-inning loss to the Phillies that infielder/outfielder Eric Campbell will join the team from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Saturday's news reports:

• The Mets didn't score a run in their final 23 innings this week in Miami. They broke that streak in the first inning Friday night, but scored only one run the rest of the way, while leaving 14 runners on base and going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Read more on the game in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star Ledger, Record and MLB.com.

• Why aren't the Mets hitting? Columnist John Harper of the Daily News went looking for answers.

Wilmer Flores had two hits in the first game of his trial as the Mets shortstop, but failed both times he had a chance with runners on base. Read more on Flores in the Star Ledger, Wall St. Journal and MLB.com.

• Is anyone in the Mets organization hitting? The Post went to Double-A Binghamton and found Matt Clark, who came back from Japan and has a .323 average with seven home runs.

• The Matt Harvey progress reports don't mean very much yet, but in case you care, Harvey is hoping to move to throwing off a mound sometime around June 10. Read more in the Daily News, Record and MLB.com.

From the bloggers ... Mack's Mets talks with Virgin Islands native Akeel Morris.

BIRTHDAYS: Pete Schourek, whose 11-year major-league career began with the Mets in 1991, turns 45 . . . Jim Hickman, whose 13-year career began with the 1962 Mets, turns 77 . . . Craig Brazell, who played in 24 games with the 2004 Mets, is 34.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: The Mets have called up Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell. Who would you like to see them add?

Series in review: Gee continues the run

April, 27, 2014
Apr 27
6:45
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The Mets won two of three from the Marlins to make it six wins in the past eight games and close their 10-game homestand 6-4.

Gee gets an A
Dillon Gee's win in the series finale marked the first time in his career that he finished a start with at least eight scoreless innings.

Opponents are now hitting .193 against Gee this season. He has a 0.86 ERA and 0.86 WHIP in his past three starts, in which he’s allowed only two extra-base hits.

It’s part of a great run by Mets starters, who had a 2.49 ERA on the 10-game homestand.

Gee’s changeup and slider were at their best on Sunday. He threw them a combined 27 times, netting 20 strikes and 10 outs (including five strikeouts) without yielding a baserunner.

Another walk-off win
We mentioned on Friday that Curtis Granderson became the first Mets player to have a walk-off RBI in two different games by the end of April.

The three walk-off wins by the Mets this month are one shy of the club record for the most by the end of April. That mark was set in 1985 and matched in 1998.

Mejia’s sixth-inning foibles
Jenrry Mejia rolled through the first five innings on Saturday and looked to be headed toward another great start only to have it all fall apart for him in the sixth inning.

In our last series recap, we noted how Mejia’s success had been predicated on keeping the ball down in the strike zone.

In this start, Mejia threw his lowest percentage of pitches in the lower third of the zone or below all season (47 percent) and his highest percentage in the middle of the zone (37 percent).

The Marlins were 0-for-10 in at-bats ending with a pitch in the middle of the zone in the first five innings, but they eventually caught up. They had a single, double and home run against pitches to that area in the sixth.

Record pursuit
The Mets hit .224 this series, raising their team batting average for the season to .218.

The team record for lowest batting average by the end of April appears safe. The team hit .200 in 1978.

Even at 100
The Mets are 14-11, having scored the same number of runs (100) as they’ve allowed.

It marks only the second time in club history that they’ve had a winning record through 25 games and had a run differential of zero or worse. The other instance was in 1984, when they were 15-10 despite being outscored 120-93.

That team hit a number deemed significant to these Mets. It finished the season with exactly 90 wins.

View from the other side: A Salty Stat
Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th inning and a game-tying homer in the eighth inning of this series.

He’s the first player to hit two homers in the eighth inning or later that either tied a game or put his team ahead of the Mets in the same season since Jose Vidro in 2003. He’s the first to do so in the same series since Jim Edmonds hit a pair of walk-off homers to beat the Mets in September 2000.

Series review: Starting pitching carries Mets

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:18
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The Mets have won five straight road games against the Diamondbacks. It is their second longest winning streak in Arizona, trailing only a run of 13 straight wins there from 2004 to 2007.

What else was of note from this series?

Start with the Starting
The Mets starting pitching was terrific in the series, with Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee throwing 12 scoreless innings in the last two games and Zack Wheeler yielding two runs in 6 1/3 innings in the series opener.

Mets starting pitchers had allowed at least six runs in each series this season prior to this one.

The last time the Mets got consecutive starts in which their starting pitchers allowed no runs was last July 21 and 22, when Matt Harvey and Gee each pitched seven scoreless against the Phillies and Braves respectively.

Gee won in a way he doesn’t usually do so, with high fastballs.

The Diamondbacks went 0-for-9 when Gee threw a fastball to the upper-third of the strike zone or higher, with a couple of those outs being long fly balls.

Gee had allowed seven hits and netted only nine with that pitch in that location all season prior to Wednesday.

Thievery pays
Eric Young Jr. had two more stolen bases in Wednesday’s win to give him nine on the road trip. Young has stolen a base in five different games this season. The Mets have won all five.

Young is now 12-for-36 on the road this season after his 2-for-19 start at Citi Field.

“I talked to Eric about it in spring training,” Terry Collins said. “I said, ‘If you have a .350 on-base, you’re going to score 120 runs on this team.’ Coming out of this road trip I think his on-base is .360 or something right now, and he’s scored a lot of runs. That’s exactly how valuable he is.

“He tried some things early to try to make better contact, eliminate some strikeouts. He just felt very uncomfortable. He finally got back to his regular swing and he’s done a good job.”

Outfield (issues), what outfield (issues)?
The Mets lost both Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson to injury in the first two games of the series, but that was of little consequence, thanks to the efforts of Young, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown. The Mets outfield was 10 for 27 with eight RBIs in the last two games of this series.

Closer in waiting?
Reliever Gonzalez Germen is off to a fantastic start this season. Germen threw three scoreless innings in the middle game of this series and has allowed only one run, three hits and two walks in 10 1/3 innings this season.

Opponents are 3-for-34 against Germen this season and 7-for-62 with 21 strikeouts and four walks dating back to last Sept. 9.

Opponents have missed on 41 percent of their swings against Germen over that span and have missed on 24 of their last 41 swings against Germen’s changeup.

Ballpark Recker
Anthony Recker hit his second home run of the season, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead on Wednesday. Recker has now hit eight home runs in two seasons with the Mets and if it seems like his home runs have been important, it’s because they have.

The last seven have either tied a game or given the Mets a lead.

What made Gee opener-worthy?

March, 30, 2014
Mar 30
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“I’m sure there was [a mechanical change]. We’re always kind of tinkering with mechanical things. But I think 90 percent of it is I just changed mentally. I got a lot more aggressive. This game is all confidence, too. Mentally you have to be in the right spot for success. I think now that’s the biggest part of my game.” -- Dillon Gee on his 2013 transformation

What got Mets pitcher Dillon Gee to the point of being worthy of the Opening Day assignment against the Washington Nationals on Monday?

You can look back to the first two innings of the start against the New York Yankees on May 30 that turned Gee’s 2013 season around.

That game actually didn’t start well for Gee, similar to a season that began with a 6.34 ERA through 10 starts.

Gee’s first two pitches were sub-90 fastballs right down the middle, and Brett Gardner and Robinson Cano each lashed singles.

But Gee escaped trouble, striking out Vernon Wells on three pitches, the last two sliders that were unreachable, off the outside corner, whiffing Travis Hafner on a 2-2 changeup that faded as if it had a tail and dropped just below the knees, then getting Lyle Overbay to hit a changeup in almost the same spot for a comebacker.

In the second inning, the Yankees put two men on base and again, Gee’s offspeed stuff provided the necessary edge. He got Reid Brignac to chase another fading changeup and induced a 5-4-3 double play from Austin Romine on a slider.

From there, the game took care of itself. Gee went 7 1/3 innings, allowing one run and four hits, with a career high 12 strikeouts on an economical 88 pitches.

Those pitches marked the beginning of Gee’s total turnaround.

An improved changeup

Through the first 10 starts of the season, lefty hitters torched Gee, hitting .337, with a .420 on-base percentage and .519 slugging percentage against him.

The problem for Gee was that, as he returned to pitching after battling the blood clot that cost him the end of the 2012 season, he didn’t have a go-to pitch. As you can see in the image above, his changeup was flat, and more often than not, it stayed over the heart of the plate. Ryan Howard twice mauled it for home runs and Carlos Gonzalez clocked one 446 feet to right-center at Coors Field.

But Gee was able to fix what ailed him and the turnaround started with those two at-bats against Hafner and Overbay in the first inning against the Yankees.

The pitch was at his best for him during a 10-start stretch spanning June 17 to Aug. 8, during which opponents were 1-for-41 with 10 strikeouts (and four walks) against it.

“When you’re up in the strike zone, you’re not finishing your pitches,” said one NL scout who saw Gee multiple times last season. “That could have been a health issue, where he didn’t have the confidence to finish his pitches. As the season wore on, he had more confidence and better endurance, and was able to get the ball down better.”

The breaking ball

Similarly, Gee could not locate his breaking ball effectively in those first 10 starts, leaving way too many hangers over the plate to right-handed hitters. The Braves, Marlins and Phillies all took advantage and that was a big reason for Gee’s 6.34 ERA.

“I thought his delivery was messed up the first [part of] last year,” said Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen. “And then we found the delivery. As soon as that happened, the ball went where he wanted to. He wasn’t trying to hang balls in the middle of the plate.”

That strikeout of Wells began a period in which Gee was able to put the breaking ball where he wanted to with consistency. He began getting right-handed hitters to chase the pitch, as you can see from the volume of the blue blob in the image above.

Gee’s success with the breaking ball paid immediate dividends. The Yankees start began a four-start stretch in which Gee allowed only five runs in 29 1/3 innings (a 1.53 ERA).

In those four starts, righties went 2-for-25 with 13 strikeouts (and one walk) against Gee’s curve and slider.

The payoff

Beginning with that start against the Yankees, Gee posted a 2.71 ERA. There were a few imperfections along the way, but the change was pretty remarkable.

"The whole Opening Day starter thing, you can think what you want, but it's a tremendous honor and well deserved,” said David Wright, “especially with being a start away from who knows what and then throwing the way he did against the Yankees and finishing up, like I said, one of the most productive pitchers in the game."

Now it’s up to him to maintain it in 2014.

The Mets' best moments of 2013

October, 1, 2013
10/01/13
3:15
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AP Photo/Kathy WillensThe Mets were a jubilant group after a walk-off win against the Yankees.
The Mets finished 74-88 for the second straight season, but this year had more of an upbeat feel to it than 2012, with come-from-behind wins, some prospects heralded and unheralded coming to Citi Field, and plenty of exciting wins as the Mets went 49-48 in their last 97 games.

We're not looking to sugarcoat what was another rough year for Mets fans (particularly once Matt Harvey got hurt). But the good times should be remembered.

Here is a chronological look at the Mets most memorable moments of 2013.

April 24 -- 'Spin for the Win
The Mets had 10 walk-off wins in 2013 and one of the most exciting ones came when they rallied to beat the Dodgers.

David Wright tied the game and kept Matt Harvey's unbeaten record intact with a two-out hit in the ninth inning. Jordany Valdespin won it with a 10th inning grand slam.

Stat to Remember: This was the sixth walk-off grand slam in Mets history, the first since Kevin McReynolds hit one against the Expos in 1991.

May 3 -- Wright goes deeper than ever before
The Mets scored a dramatic 7-5 win over the Braves. Trailing by a run in the ninth inning, Wright took invincible Braves closer Craig Kimbrel deep.

The 464-foot homer marked the longest one in Wright's career. They would pull ahead in the 10th inning on a pair of 0-2 RBI hits, one by Ruben Tejada, the other by Daniel Murphy.

Stat to Remember: The Mets won seven games in which they were trailing entering the ninth inning, their most such wins in a season since they had seven in 1998.

May 7 -- Almost Perfect
Matt Harvey pitched a lot of great games in 2013 (an early-season win over Stephen Strasburg just missed our cut). His best was his nine scoreless innings against the White Sox, a game in which the only baserunner he allowed was an infield single by Alex Rios in the 7th.

Harvey would get a no-decision (a theme throughout 2013) in a game the Mets would win on a walk-off hit in the 10th inning by Mike Baxter.

Stat to Remember: Harvey is the only pitcher in Mets history to throw nine scoreless innings, allow one hit or fewer, strike out at least 12 and walk none.

May 26-29 -- Sweeping the Yankees
There were minimal expectations for the Mets heading into their four-game series with the Yankees. But the Mets pitching dominated, allowing only one run in three of the four games, winning all four.

Murphy won the opener with an eighth-inning hit, then started an improbable two-run rally in the ninth inning with a leadoff double in a 2-1 walk-off win against Mariano Rivera the next day.

The Mets bats had one really good day, knocking out David Phelps in the first inning of a 9-4 romp. Dillon Gee closed the series with an unlikely 12-strikeout gem that turned his season in the right direction.

Stat to Remember: This was the first time in Mets history that they swept the Yankees in a season series.

June 16 -- A "Nieu" beginning
Terry Collins would point to this game, not Harvey/Wheeler day (the next on our list) as the one that got the Mets headed out of their early-season doldrums.

Trailing 3-0 in the ninth inning, the Mets were the recipients of an implosion from Cubs closer Carlos Marmol, who first gave up a leadoff homer to Marlon Byrd, then allowed a three-run walk-off shot to Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who entered that at-bat 3-for-31 for the season.

Stat To Remember: This marked the second time in the last 30 seasons that the Mets won a game on a walk-off homer that game with them down by at least two runs. The only other instance in that span was Bobby Bonilla's game-winning homer against Rob Dibble and the Reds on August 30, 1992.

June 18 -- Harvey/Wheeler Day
This marked the brightest-looking day for the Mets future when Harvey and Zack Wheeler beat the Braves in a doubleheader sweep.

Harvey struck out 13 and took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of the opener. Wheeler wowed in his debut with six scoreless (albeit a little wild) innings in the nightcap.

Those wins started the 49-48 season-ending run.

Stat to Remember: This marked the Mets first doubleheader sweep of the Braves in Atlanta since 1987.

July 8 -- Leaving their hearts in San Francisco
The Mets played a bunch of long games in 2013, though none ended later than the 3:41 a.m. conclusion to the 4-3 win in 16 innings against the Giants.

The game might have actually gone longer had Brandon Crawford cleanly fielded Anthony Recker’s grounder with runners on the corners and two outs in the 16th, which produced the winning run. The teams combined to go 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position.

Stat to Remember: The Mets played 57 extra innings in 2013, three shy of the club record of 60 set in 1979 and 1985.

July 16 -- Star of Stars
Harvey proved he belonged on the game's biggest stage when he started the All-Star Game for the National League at Citi Field. After allowing a leadoff double to Mike Trout and hitting Robinson Cano, Harvey retired the heart of the American League lineup (Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis and Jose Bautista), then pitched a 1-2-3 second inning, highlighted by a 10-pitch strikeout of Adam Jones.

Stat to Remember: Harvey became the second Met to throw at least two scoreless innings as an All-Star Game starter. The other was Tom Seaver in 1970.

August 6 -- Young's Mookie-like dash
In the eighth inning of a tie game against the Rockies, Eric Young Jr. brought back memories of Mookie Wilson scoring from second on an infield single by Juan Lagares. That would give the Mets a win and a nice moment for Young, who was traded from the Rockies to the Mets earlier in the season.

Stat To Remember: The Mets led the majors in Fangraphs' advanced baserunning metric (UBR) due largely to plays like the one that won this game.

September 20 -- Wright Passes Piazza
Wright homered in his first at-bat against Cole Hamels after missing seven weeks with a hamstring injury and passed Mike Piazza into second place on the club's career home run list. The Mets would go on to sweep the Phillies in Philadelphia, those wins making the difference as they finished in third place in the NL East, one game ahead of the Phillies.

Stat to Remember: Wright finished with a .307 batting average, a .390 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. Wright has four .300/.390/.500 seasons in his career. The only other Met with more than one is Mike Piazza, who has two.

Notes: Vic Black gets first win

September, 15, 2013
9/15/13
6:53
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NEW YORK -- One newcomer picked up his first career walk-off hit.

And because of it, a fellow newcomer picked up his first career win.

Travis d'Arnaud's walk-off RBI single made a winner of Vic Black in the Mets' 1-0 win in 12 innings over the Marlins on Sunday at Citi Field. Black pitched a perfect 12th inning.

[+] EnlargeCollins/Gee
Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsDillon Gee was pulled after 7 1/3 scoreless innings.
"Of course it's always exciting to get your first win," Black said. "The first of many hopefully."

The Mets acquired Black from Pittsburgh in the deal that sent outfielder Marlon Byrd and catcher John Buck to the Pirates. The Mets have thrown him into their bullpen and he's done a nice job thus far as he has a 3.68 ERA spanning nine games with the team.

He entered the game in the 12th inning on Sunday and retired the order in side. Mets manager Terry Collins complimented the job the bullpen did in holding the Marlins scoreless for 4 2/3 innings on Sunday afternoon. The Mets bullpen gave up just two hits in that stretch.

"It came down to we had to get some relief pitching and we got it," Collins said.

GEE THE GREAT: Starter Dillon Gee's fantastic outing on Sunday was wasted by the Mets' offensive struggles. Gee threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out eight while yielding six hits in a no-decision.

Gee cruised for most of the afternoon against a weak Marlins lineup. The Marlins had a grand opportunity in the second when they had a man on third with one out, but Gee struck out the next two batters to avoid any damage. He departed the game with a man on in the eighth.

"I think the key today was being able to throw off-speed pitches for strikes," Gee said. "Threw a lot of curveballs and changeups first pitch, especially tried to get ahead in the count with something other than the fast ball."

After Sunday's start, Gee has now thrown 187 innings on the season, which potentially puts him in line for a 200-inning season, which would be the first time he's done so in his career. The 187 innings Gee has thrown this year are already a career-high for the 27-year-old.

"That's very important. That was the main goal out of spring training, to make every start every time it's your turn and try to get the 200 mark," Gee said. "It's a big goal I think for a lot of starting pitchers."

FLORES FINE: Third baseman Wilmer Flores had his ankle stepped on, but he said he was fine. Flores twisted his ankle in August. He was replaced for a pinch-runner in the 10th inning after singling to center. Flores went 1-for-4.

The series in Metrics (Mets, Gee vs. Braves)

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
8:24
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The highlight of the lone win for the New York Mets in their three-game series with the Atlanta Braves was once again the great pitching of starter Dillon Gee. Let’s use this series recap to expound further on his run of success.

Captain Hook
Gee threw 13 curveballs among his 102 pitches Wednesday and, once again, the pitch proved capable of wiping opponents out. He used it to strike out Evan Gattis and Gerald Laird to escape a second-and-third, one-out jam in the first inning and got three other outs with it over the next five innings.

Gee threw 11 of 13 curves for strikes, his 85 percent strike rate the best he has had with the pitch in any game this season.

Gee has had great command of his curveball since mid-May. In his first eight starts of the season, he gave up as many hits with it (four) as he netted outs. But since then he’s thrown 194 curveballs (about 10 per start) netting 46 outs and yielding only five hits and two walks. In his past nine starts, the 74 he has thrown have produced 22 outs and allowed just an infield single to Omar Infante of the Tigers.

RISP-y business
Gee did not allow a hit with a runner in scoring position for the fourth straight start. Since Aug. 2, he has allowed just two hits to the 34 hitters he has faced in such situations.

Opponents are hitting .155 with runners in scoring position against Gee since his win over the New York Yankees on May 30. As of late Thursday afternoon, that’s the second-best mark in the National League, trailing only Jose Fernandez’s .121.

Make them chase
One of the keys to this run by Gee has been that he’s gotten hitters to repeatedly swing at pitches out of the strike zone. In the statistical world, we can measure that by something we refer to as “chase rate” -- how often a hitter swings at a pitch out of the zone.

Gee has a chase rate of 35 percent since that start against the Yankees. That’s the second-best chase rate in that span, trailing only Cole Hamels (37 percent).

Gee has had an above-average chase rate against all four of his pitches (fastball, curve, slider changeup) relative to other starting pitchers in this span. Perhaps most surprising is that the chase rate against his fastball/cutter combo is 31 percent (ninth-best among the 95 starting pitchers who qualified for the list).

Most major league hitters will chase pitches in a two-strike count, but Gee has been good at getting them to chase in other counts. Most notably, the contact has been feeble.

Opponents have managed only one extra-base hit against a Gee pitch thrown out of the strike zone since May 30, regardless of count. That’s tied for the fewest among any of the pitchers who made the qualifying list.

Top-10 second half?
Gee has a 2.14 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break. If he maintained that, it would be the ninth best post-All-Star break ERA among those Mets pitchers with at least 10 starts. It would be the best by any Met since 1988 when David Cone had a 1.92 ERA and Bob Ojeda had a 2.05 ERA.

The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Rockies)

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
8:56
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The Mets broke out the brooms for their first three-game home sweep of the season with Thursday's win over the Colorado Rockies.

Let's look at some of the statistical highlights from the series.

Wilmer!
Wilmer Flores' three-run double iced the Mets' 5-0 win on Wednesday. He became the sixth player in Mets history to have a three-RBI game within the first two games of his career.

The other five are Duffy Dyer, Lee Mazzilli, Jason Hardtke, Kazuo Matsui and Mike Jacobs.

Flores’ RBI in Thursday’s win gave him four in three games. The only Met with more RBIs in his first three career games was Jacobs with five.

Harvey's shutout
Matt Harvey became the fifth different Mets pitcher to throw a shutout against the Rockies, joining Dwight Gooden (1993), Steve Trachsel (2003), Tom Glavine (2004 and 2005) and Johan Santana (2010). Harvey and Trachsel are the only two to throw one allowing four hits or fewer with no walks.

Harvey matched his best strike rate of the season (73.6 percent, also done against the Chicago Cubs) and had his second-best called-strike rate (41.7 percent). He threw 24 of 30 first-pitches for strikes.

Harvey ramped up his fastball as the game went along. He averaged 94.7 mph in the first three innings, 95.3 in innings four through six, and 96 mph in innings seven through nine.

His fastballs in the ninth inning were 95, 95, 96, 97, 97, 98, 96, 97, 98.

As the ESPNStatsInfo Twitter feed noted, the 24-year-old Harvey is the youngest Mets pitcher with multiple games of nine scoreless innings in a season since Gooden at age 23 in 1988.

The one area in which Harvey is not excelling is his hitting. He's 0-for-his-last 19.

LaTroy the Elder
LaTroy Hawkins earned saves in Tuesday’s and Thursday’s wins, becoming the third pitcher age 40 or older to earn a save for the Mets. Of the other two, John Franco is the easy one to remember. The tough one to recall (as you might have heard noted on SNY on Thursday) is Roberto Hernandez.

Mejia's offspeed stuff dominant again
Jenrry Mejia's offspeed stuff was great prior to the umpire injury in Tuesday’s win. Through the first five innings, Mejia threw 35 changeups, curveballs and sliders. He retired nine batters with the pitch, allowing only one baserunner on an error by Ike Davis.

After the umpire’s injury, Mejia allowed a pair of hits on the seven offspeed pitches he threw, including a homer to Charlie Blackmon on an 0-2 curveball. Of the 20 other curves he’s thrown, only three were higher height-wise than that pitch to Blackmon.

Another big game from Gee
Dillon Gee's offspeed stuff was again of difference-maker quality, this time in Thursday’s win. Gee’s second, third, and fourth-best strike rates with his offspeed pitches have come in his past three starts. Thursday, he threw 31 of 43 for strikes (72 percent), to retire 10 batters (including one double play) and yield only three baserunners.

Gee’s 1.53 ERA in his past five starts rates fifth in the National League since the date of his first start in that run (July 14).

Ike: Suddenly the most feared hitter in MLB?
Since July 24, Davis has played 15 games and drawn 16 walks -- four of them in this series. Only one player in the majors has more walks than Davis in this span, Mike Trout, with 18.

In this 15-game stretch, Davis has missed on just 13 percent of his swings. Prior to that, he was missing on nearly one-third (32 percent) of his swings.

Gee follows Harvey's shutout with gem

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
4:58
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NEW YORK -- Toeing the rubber less than 24 hours after Matt Harvey twirled a brilliant complete-game shutout didn't carry any additional pressure for Dillon Gee.

"Harvey is Harvey. He's unreal," Gee said. "I'm just trying to go out there and do what I can do to help us win baseball games."

[+] EnlargeDillon Gee
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesDillon Gee is 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA in his last 13 starts.
Turns out, Gee doesn't have to be Harvey to shut down an opposing lineup.

Gee threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball as he powered the Mets to a sweep over the Rockies with a 2-1 win Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. Gee has pitched into the seventh inning in seven straight starts.

"It's a big boost for us," Mets manager Terry Collins said of his team's first three-game home sweep. "We didn't exactly knock the ball all over the ballpark, but it shows you can win games if you do the little things -- the baserunning, the defense, make pitches, get productive outs, move runners along, get runners in scoring position. You never know what's going to happen."

Facing a depleted Colorado squad, as the Rockies rested several of their stars in a day game following a night game, Gee navigated the lineup with ease. Colorado started the game with back-to-back singles, but a pretty outfield assist from Marlon Byrd helped Gee escape the inning with no damage.

Collins said Gee didn't have a great bullpen session before the game, and the starter improved as the game progressed. Gee's lone blemish came when Corey Dickerson smashed a leadoff homer in the fourth to right-center to give the Rockies a 1-0 edge. Gee yielded eight hits on the afternoon.

Nursing a 2-1 lead with two outs in the eighth, Gee surrendered a single and was removed after just 87 pitches. Reliever Scott Rice walked Troy Tulowitzki to put the go-ahead run aboard, but David Aardsma retired Michael Cuddyer to preserve the lead. Gee improved to 8-8.

"You want to be out there," Gee said of being pulled. "I knew I was only at like 80-something pitches and I wanted to be out there to finish it, but we won and that's all that matters."

While Harvey dominates the headlines when it comes to Mets' starters, Gee has been a great complement to the ace over the past few months. Dating to his victory over the Yankees on May 30, Gee is 6-2 with a 2.42 ERA in his last 13 starts, 10 of which have been quality outings.

Since the All-Star break, he's been particularly effective, lasting at least seven innings in all four starts and giving up one run or fewer in three of those outings. Gee now owns a 2.08 ERA at Citi Field this year.

"I don't worry about that stuff," Gee said of his numbers. "At the end of the year, when you look up, you see what it's been. I try to take it day by day, and hopefully we win the games."

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Rockies 1

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
3:03
PM ET


NEW YORK -- Home sweep home.

The Mets swept a three-game home series for the first time this season as they bested the Rockies 2-1 Thursday afternoon at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee threw 7 2/3 innings of one-run ball to record the win, and catcher Anthony Recker had the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

Cruising: Gee had the unenviable task of following Matt Harvey after his shutout Wednesday night, but he more than stepped up to the challenge. The Rockies, fielding a minor league lineup, didn't provide much opposition, save for a fourth-inning homer by Corey Dickerson. Gee has been fantastic since the All-Star break as he has now gone at least seven innings in each of his four starts since then, and has surrendered one run or less in three of those outings. Gee improved to 8-8.

Flores again: Wilmer Flores tied the score in the fourth inning with a fielder's choice that made it 1-1. Flores, playing third base for the injured David Wright, has four RBIs in his first three games. He went 0-for-3 and is 2-for-11 to start his career.

Getting dicey: Gee departed after allowing a single with two outs in the eighth, and was replaced by Scott Rice, who walked pinch hitter Troy Tulowitzki. David Aardsma replaced Rice and retired Michael Cuddyer on a soft fly to left with the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first base.

Bad running: Ike Davis made a costly blunder when he ran past third base with two outs in the fourth and got caught in a rundown, resulting in an out. Davis, to his credit, nearly outran Colorado's Nolan Arenado to the plate but was tagged out just before scoring. Davis went 1-for-3.

Up next: The Mets begin an 11-game trip Friday in Arizona. Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.23 ERA) faces Patrick Corbin (12-3, 2.33) at 9:40 p.m. ET.

The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Royals)

August, 5, 2013
8/05/13
1:00
PM ET
Notes and nuggets from the Mets’ series loss to the Kansas City Royals, one that is most noteworthy for the loss of their team captain.

Extra, extra
The Mets added a pair of extra-inning games to their ledger, giving them 15 for the season. That’s still 10 shy of their franchise record of 25 set in 1978.

It marked the 16th time that the Mets have treated their home fans to consecutive games of 11 innings or more (first since 2007). They’ve never had a streak of three in a row.

The Mets have played 807 extra-inning games in which they are 382-423-2. The 807 games are fifth most among teams since their first season, 1962.

Living without David Wright
David Wright’s hamstring injury will sideline him for three to five weeks and leave the Mets with a sizable hole in their lineup.

Wright has been worth 5.6 Wins Above Replacement this season, the third-highest total among NL position players and a number that almost matched the tally of Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera (5.9) for best among major-league third basemen. In fact, both Wins Above Replacement systems (Baseball-Reference and Fangraphs) were in virtual agreement on Wright’s 2013 value. Fangraphs had him pegged for 5.7 WAR, trailing only Cabrera (6.4) and Mike Trout (6.9) among position players

The Mets two losses on Saturday and Sunday made them 3-9 in games that Wright doesn’t start over the last two seasons.

Young’s walk-off
It was Young’s first career walk-off homer, matching the total his father had.

It was also the Mets first walk-off homer in an interleague game since Cliff Floyd hit one against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 11, 2005.

The tally of walk-off home runs in club history now stands at 119 for the Mets and 121 against them.

Another good start from Gee
Dillon Gee allowed one run and three hit in seven innings in Friday’s win, though he got a no-decision. It marked the 10th time this season that a Mets starter pitched at least seven innings, allowing one run or fewer and got a no-decision. Only the Giants have more such NDs, with 11.

Gee lowered his ERA to 2.53 in his last 12 starts, the best of any Mets pitcher since May 30 (Matt Harvey’s is 2.60).

Gee continues to throw a dominant changeup. In his first 10 starts of the season, the pitch netted him 35 batters retired and yielded 22 hits/walks. In his last 12 starts, that ratio jumped to 50 batters retired and 15 hits/walks.

Gee retired nine batters with the pitch on Friday, three by strikeout.

Marlon’s mishaps
Marlon Byrd’s sun struggles on Sunday were unusual given how well he has played right field this season. Byrd’s eight Defensive Runs Saved rank tied for ninth-best in the majors, and tied for fifth-most in the National League.

The other five players to play right field for the Mets this season have combined for -5 Defensive Runs Saved in 238 1/3 innings.

Maxwell the Mets-killer
Justin Maxwell’s go-ahead homer marked the second time he’s hit a go-ahead homer against them in the ninth inning or later (he beat them with a walk-off grand slam in 2009). Maxwell and Giancarlo Stanton are the only players to have two such homers against the Mets in the last five seasons.

The series in Metrics: Mets vs Braves

July, 25, 2013
7/25/13
4:50
PM ET
The Mets chase for .500 continued with a split against the Atlanta Braves. Here's a look at some of the most interesting and noteworthy numbers from that series.

Stat of the Series: Leadoff HR, then shut down
Tuesday's game opened with an Andrelton Simmons homer, but the Braves did not score again. It marked only the third time in Mets history that they allowed a home run to the first batter of the game in the top of the first inning, and then didn't allow another run.

The last time it happened was August 19, 1998, a 2-1 win over the Colorado Rockies. The home run was hit by a future Met, Darryl Hamilton.

The only other instance was on September 2, 1963, in the second game of a doubleheader with the Cincinnati Reds. The home run was hit by Pete Rose, the only run in a 1-0 Reds win.

The Braves had won Kris Medlen's previous seven starts against the Mets. Medlen's loss leaves Clayton Kershaw as having the longest streak of team wins against the Mets in his starts. His run currently stands at seven straight.

Torres continues to produce
Carlos Torres got his first win as a starter since September 3, 2009 by beating the Braves and tied his career high with six strikeouts.

Torres is the 324th pitcher to win a game in Mets history and the 145th Met whose primary position was pitcher to get an RBI.

If you combine Torres' minor-league numbers with his major league numbers, he's now allowed five earned runs in 43 innings in his last six starts.

David Wright's disputed triple
David Wright's sixth-inning triple on Thursday was his sixth of the season (his most in a season) and 25th of his career, tying him with Ed Kranepool for ninth-most in Mets history.

Wright's next triple will tie him with Doug Flynn for eighth and the next one after that will tie him with Lance Johnson for seventh-most.

The club record is still pretty safe -- 99 by Jose Reyes.

Wheel's Up
Zack Wheeler became the second pitcher in Mets history to have at least four wins and no more than one loss in his first seven career appearances, joining Octavio Dotel.

Wheeler continued to show the ability to get out of jams, holding the Braves to 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

He matched his career-best by getting 14 swings-and-misses, with both of those games coming against the Braves.

Gee!
Dillon Gee was not rewarded for his seven scoreless innings after the Mets lost to the Braves 2-1 in the series opener.

It was tied for the second-longest scoreless start of his career, trailing only a 7 2/3 inning effort against the Nationals on May 19, 2011.

Gee has a 2.39 ERA since May 30. Entering Thursday, that rated 10th-best in the majors in that span, and nearly identical to the pitcher right in front of him (the previously-mentioned Kershaw).

Another win for Hudson
The Braves lost Tim Hudson, likely for the season, after he got spiked by Eric Young Jr. at first base.

Hudson pitched a terrific game to that point. The win was his 17th against the Mets. That's tied for 14th-most against them of any pitcher (the same number as Sandy Koufax, Ferguson Jenkins, Tom Glavine and Rick Wise). Hudson's total is the most of any pitcher who made his major-league debut in the last 25 seasons.

Second half stat storylines: Dillon Gee

July, 22, 2013
7/22/13
10:33
AM ET
Five statistical storylines for Dillon Gee in the second half of the season.

Second chance at a second half
In 2011, the one season Gee was a yearlong major league pitcher, he struggled to the finish, posting a 5.25 ERA in his last 13 starts.

This first start out of the break is a notable one for Gee. A win would put him over .500 for the first time this season.

It’s also a chance to avenge a defeat against the Braves (on Freddie Freeman's walk-off homer) in his previous start against them.

Carryover
Gee’s 12-strikeout gem against the Yankees may have marked the turning point of his season. Gee’s ERA in that start and the eight that followed is 2.67, and the nine basically grade out as seven-good, two-bad.

Gee’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is indicative of someone who should be pitching well. The one recent aberration has been that Gee has not allowed a homer on the 27 fly balls and 17 line drives hit against him in his past four starts.

Gee’s typical rate of yielding homers is at a rate of one for every 10 fly balls, so the numbers may catch up with him eventually.

Watch the changeup
The pitch that has been the big difference-maker in this stretch is his changeup, which is no longer floating up to the plate on a tee like it was earlier in the season.

The chart on the right shows the difference for Gee.

Gee’s changeup location is often telling of his game success. In the seven starts this season in which Gee has thrown at least 65 percent of his changeups in the lower third of the strike zone or below, he has a 2.20 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.

In the 12 starts that he has not, his ERA is 5.79, with a 1.59 WHIP

Start off right
Gee’s ability to throw first-pitch strikes has also been vital to his recent success.

In those first 10 starts, his first-pitch strike rate was 59 percent. It’s 67 percent in his past nine starts.

Why is that significant? Consider these splits:

Gee when up 0-1: .220 opponents’ batting average, .577 OPS
Gee when behind 1-0: .338 opponents’ batting average, .979 OPS

No innings ceiling
There doesn’t figure to be any issue managing Gee’s innings. He’s at 110 1/3 right now, with a career high of 190 combining his major and minor league totals in 2010.

The Mets will be watching Gee carefully though, considering his innings total has trended downward, at 160 2/3 in 2011 and 109 2/3 before the injury shelved him last season.

The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Pirates)

July, 14, 2013
7/14/13
8:01
PM ET
The Mets salvaged their final series of the first half with Sunday’s victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates to end the first half with a 41-50 mark.

Let’s go through some of the statistically-noteworthy nuggets from this series.

Bad things happen in (years ending in) 3s
The Mets are a 50-loss team at the All-Star Break for the first time since 2003. Coincidentally, they’ve also been a 50-loss team at the break in 2003, 1993, 1983, 1973, and 1963, among the 14 times they’ve done so. The club record for losses at the break is 60, set in 1993.

Highlight of the series: Very strong starting pitching
Jeremy Hefner became the third Mets pitcher in the last two seasons to have a streak of three straight starts in which he pitched seven innings or more and allowed four hits or fewer. R.A. Dickey did it last season and Matt Harvey had a run of five straight spanning the end of 2012 and the start of 2013. The Mets did not have any pitchers with such a streak from 2007 to 2011.

Hefner has made seven starts this season in which he’s allowed two runs or fewer in six innings or more. He’s won two, lost two, and had five no-decisions. The Mets are 3-6 in those nine games.

Carlos Torres struck out five batters in five innings, giving him 20 strikeouts and two walks heading into the All-Star Break. Torres is only the second Mets pitcher to have a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 10-to-1 or better heading into the All-Star Break (with an admittedly low minimum of 20 innings pitched. The other is Bret Saberhagen in 1994.

Dillon Gee beat the Pirates again, improving to 3-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 32 2/3 innings against them. Gee’s ERA ranks third-best among active pitchers who have thrown 30 or more innings against the Pirates, trailing only Roy Halladay (1.04) and CC Sabathia (1.23).

Oh to be Young again
Eric Young Jr. continued to be an offensive catalyst for the Mets, with three multi-hit games in this series. He has 12 multi-hit games in his 24 games since joining the Mets. That’s one fewer than John Buck, who had his 13th multi-hit game on Sunday.

Summarizing Harvey’s first half
Matt Harvey didn’t pitch this weekend, so his147 strikeouts at the All-Star Break end up tied for the fourth-most by a Mets pitcher, the most since David Cone had 154 in 1992.

Harvey is one of three Mets pitchers to throw at least 80 innings prior to the All-Star Break and strike out better than 10 per nine innings.

Harvey’s 10.2 K per 9 rate ranks second, sandwiched between Dwight Gooden (10.8 in 1984) and David Cone (10.0 in 1990).

His 2.35 ERA is the best by a Mets starter with at least a dozen starts at the All-Star Break since Al Leiter had a 1.86 ERA in 1998.

Quirk of the Series: Welcome to the big leagues
Gonzalez Germen became the third Mets pitcher to lose via walk-off in his big-league debut, joining Kevin Lomon (1995 against the Rockies) and Joe Crawford (1997 in 15 innings against the Dodgers).

Morning Briefing: Almost break time

July, 14, 2013
7/14/13
5:48
AM ET
PITTSBURGH

FIRST PITCH: The Mets soon will have a chance to recharge their batteries -- well, with the exception of David Wright and Matt Harvey, who should be plenty busy over the next few days.

Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Gerrit Cole (4-2, 3.68) in today’s 1:35 p.m. first-half finale at PNC Park as the Mets look to avoid getting swept. All-Star southpaw Jeff Locke was scratched from the start by the Pirates.


Courtesy of New York MetsNoah Syndergaard is the starter for Team USA in today's Futures Game.


Less than a half-hour after the Mets-Pirates game gets under way, the All-Star events at Citi Field begin with the 2 p.m. Futures Game, which will be televised live on ESPN2.

Mets farmhands Noah Syndergaard (Team USA) and Rafael Montero (World) will start opposite each other on the mound. The squads will be managed by Mookie Wilson and Edgardo Alfonzo. 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo will come off the bench for Team USA.

Mets special assistant J.P. Ricciardi, in a radio interview Saturday, projected Montero as a No. 4 starter in the majors and raved about Syndergaard’s electric fastball and power sinker.

The celebrity softball game featuring Mike Piazza, John Franco, Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Rickey Henderson will be played today at Citi Field after the Futures Game. It will be televised by ESPN on Monday, after the 8 p.m. Home Run Derby, at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Sunday’s news reports:

• After Saturday’s game, Jordany Valdespin was demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas. Scott Atchison will return from the disabled list to give the Mets an extra relief arm for the first-half finale. Valdespin was 2-for-his-last-36. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Despite Carlos Torres contributing five solid innings in his first major league start in three years, the Mets lost to the Pirates, 4-2, Saturday at PNC Park. Ike Davis was unable to make a pair of fielding plays in Pittsburgh’s two-run seventh inning.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and MLB.com.

• Sandy Alderson told ESPNNewYork.com he does not foresee the roster “looking substantially different” after the July 31 trade deadline.

Alderson, in a separate interview in Newsday, said about Marlon Byrd: "We're not looking to move Marlon. Obviously, we have our eye on the future, but we want to be as good as we can be this year as well. Now, if what we can get for the future exceeds the value of the present, we'd have to look at that. But we're not anxious to do it."

Regarding Bobby Parnell, the GM added: "We've been looking for a closer for two years. Looks like we've found one. Why would we want to give him away immediately? This is not a guy we're looking to move, either."

Ricciardi, matching Alderson’s comments, said the Mets are not eager to trade Byrd.

Read more in the Post.

• Alderson told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News that Harvey skipping Saturday’s start primarily was to curtail his innings and was not about the All-Star Game. “He would pitch in the All-Star Game whether he pitched today or not,” Alderson told Ackert on Saturday. “That wasn’t the reason we made the decision. We made the decision on his projected workload over the course of the season. His blister was a factor.”

• John Harper and Anthony McCarron in the Daily News catch up with Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Jon Matlack, Gooden, Ron Darling and Al Leiter about their first All-Star Game experiences. Ken Davidoff in the Post talks with 72-year-old Ron Hunt, the last Met to start an All-Star Game in Queens, back in 1964 at Shea Stadium.

• Seaver will serve as the grand marshal of Tuesday’s 1 p.m. All-Star parade, which will travel across 42nd St., beginning at Sixth Ave. and continuing to Third Ave.

• Regarding his first All-Star Game, Harvey tells Kevin Kernan in the Post: “This is a huge honor for me, and to be able to put that uniform on is really awesome, especially being there with David. David told me to keep my eyes open, keep my ears open and really just enjoy it. All of this is new, and I’m taking it in stride. But when it comes to Cliff Lee and guys who have done it multiple times, it’s really something I’m looking forward to. And, hopefully, it’s not my last All-Star Game.”

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday talks with Wright on the eve of another All-Star appearance, while colleague Marc Carig in Newsday talks with Harvey about his first-half success.

Jeremy Hefner will start the second-half opener for the Mets against the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday at Citi Field. Zack Wheeler starts on Saturday, followed by Harvey on Sunday. Gee then gets next Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, followed by Torres.

• Terry Collins identifies outfield production as one reason for the Mets’ improved team performance, the Times writes.

• Wright’s pitcher in Monday’s Home Run Derby is bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Justin Turner began a rehab assignment for a strained intercostal muscle on his left side on Saturday as the DH in the Gulf Coast League. He is expected to play for Class A St. Lucie on Sunday, signaling a return right after the All-Star break.

Jenrry Mejia, on a rehab assignment, tossed five scoreless innings as Binghamton completed a doubleheader sweep of Portland. Wilmer Flores, who had been due to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, departed Sunday’s Las Vegas game after one inning with a hamstring injury. Anthony Chavez’s RBI double in the top of the ninth lifted Brooklyn to a 2-1 win against Connecticut. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Ken Belson in the Times discusses the benefit to the host team of putting on an All-Star Game. Writes Belson:

The main financial lift for the host club is to use the All-Star Game to help push ticket sales to every other game on the schedule.

“For us, the big plus is you expand your season-ticket base going into that year,” said Kevin Uhlich, the senior vice president for business operations for the Kansas City Royals, who were the hosts for the All-Star Game in 2012. “While our play on the field didn’t change, our season tickets were up 25 percent because the only way to guarantee All-Star tickets was to buy a ticket plan.”

• Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger discusses Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ improved performance with the center fielder.

• Cody Derespina in Newsday suggests Harvey has pitched better than his 7-2 record indicates.

• Jordan Lauterbach in Newsday profiles Brooklyn second baseman LJ Mazzilli, son of Lee Mazzilli.

• Steven Marcus in Newsday writes that All-Star venue Citi Field evokes memories of Ebbets Field, as Fred Wilpon intended.

BIRTHDAYS: White Sox manager/ex-Met Robin Ventura turns 46. He will be one of the AL coaches at Tuesday’s All-Star Game, along with Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. The NL coaches also have Mets ties: Collins and Davey Johnson. ... Las Vegas reliever Jack Leathersich is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins use Josh Satin at first base on Sunday, even though the Pirates now are using a right-hander?

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