Last night, Dillon Gee was masterful through 7 innings, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out five Braves in the process. He looked very much in control and it was clear he had a game plan out there. Gee finished off his performance with a gutty 7th inning, essentially getting five outs that inning without allowing a run, after Josh Thole was called for catcher’s interference, which negated a double play. Gee proceeded to strike out Eric Hinske with high heat on a full count with two on and no outs, then induced a dribbler and made a nice play to retire Jack Wilson, and then struck out pinch hitter Juan Francisco to bale out Thole.
There were a lot of good things to come from last night’s victory over Atlanta. Most notably, Ike Davis’ three run home run in the sixth inning. Jason Bay leaped over the left field wall to rob Jack Wilson of a home run in the fifth inning of a tie game and later added an insurance run by crushing a home run to straight away center field in the ninth inning off of Livan Hernandez. There are a lot of positives to take away from the win, but I am most excited about the development of Dillon Gee.
It is easy to forget that Gee was stellar to start 2011 by going 7-0 in his first 9 starts with a 2.86 ERA. Gee finished the season with a 13-6 record with a 4.43 ERA in 160 innings. His second half was a big drop off from the first half and he admitted fatigue was an issue in his first full season.
So whenever the term development is mentioned in regard to the Mets pitching staff, it is usually reserved for Jon Niese and Mike Pelfrey. Johan Santana and R.A. Dickey are probably too old, or well established to have room to progress. But Gee has perhaps been overlooked. He is only 25 years old and entering just his second full season, so there should be room for progression and promise.
Perhaps he gets overlooked because he has no distinguishing pitches, or because he doesn’t necessarily look the part of a high quality pitcher. Maybe it is because he was never a heralded prospect in the Mets system and he just sort of showed up at the end of 2010. To me, he seems to be of the same ilk as Rick Reed, and not just because they share jersey number 35. Gee has good control and is effective. He is a cerebral pitcher who knows how to pitch and win games. If he can adjust to a full season, he can be a very good number three starter for years to come.