O-M-Gee, for the first time since the Subway series began in 1997, the Mets have swept a season series from the Yankees.
With Zack Wheeler still presumably on the brink of joining the big league club in mid-June, a starter will have to be dropped from the rotation, and – barring injury – Dillon Gee appeared to be the odd man out entering his start in the series finale Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. In fact, manager Terry Collins informed Gee face-to-face that he was headed for the bullpen if he didn’t take a significant step forward. Apparently, the 27-year-old Gee got the message loud and clear.
“I’m not stupid,” Gee said, as reported by Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com. “I know that many bad outings in a row, you’re probably hanging on [by] a thread there. But I try not to worry about that stuff. If it happens, it happens.”
Gee, who was 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA – the second-worst mark among National League qualifiers – entering Thursday night’s contest, came up with his best performance of the season. He struck out a career-best 12 batters and limited the Yankees to four hits and one run over 7 1-3 innings in the Mets’ 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium before an announced crowd of 44,207.
“I needed that on so many levels, it’s crazy,” Gee said, as reported by Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News. “I was pitching timid the last few outings.”
After Robinson Cano’s solo home run in the bottom of the third inning to cut the lead in half to 2-1, Gee retired the final 15 Yankees batters he faced – nine of them on strikeouts, including the last five.
The Yankees, losers of a season-high five consecutive games, flailed away at Gee’s changeup and curveball. Gee escaped two-on, no-outs predicaments in both the first and second innings. From then on out, he was in command throughout and needed just 88 pitches to earn his first victory since May 1.
Gee seemed to be suffering from a lack of focus in his previous several starts, which could explain his inconsistency. He had not pitched more than five innings during any of his previous five starts. His outing on Thursday marked the first time since April 26 and only the third time in 11 starts this season that he’s completed six innings.
Gee’s effort was the culmination of the Mets’ dominant pitching throughout the series.
During their four games against the Bronx Bombers, the Mets starters tossed 28 1-3 innings, fanned 31 hitters, and allowed 27 hits and six runs. Moreover, Mets pitchers recorded 34 strikeouts and no walks during the last three games of the series. To put that into historical perspective, it’s the first time in franchise history that they had that many strikeouts and no walks in a three-game span in, according to The Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mets have now won a season-best five straight games, thanks in part to their starters having pitched like aces.
Justin Silberman is a journalism and new media major at Towson University, located in Baltimore, and true Mets fan.