New York Mets: The Amazins Can Finally Reach The Long Elusive .500 Mark Tonight With Dillon Gee On The Mound And Give ALL Met Fans Something They Can Finally Agree On.
With a win over Atlanta Tuesday night, Jon Niese managed to push his personal won/loss record over .500, while earning his sixth win (6-5) of the season. It also extended a string of brilliantly pitched games by the Mets' starting staff during the month of June.
Jon Niese pitched 6.1 innings; allowing 2 earned runs on five hits. His best stat of the night? - No walks. The kid threw 95 pitches and 63 of them went for strikes. He had 4 strikeouts on the night and lowered his season ERA to 3.46 (and dropping).
The Mets have remained tantalizingly close to the .500 mark but haven't been able to seize it yet. The number one reason why this team is even in a position to achieve such a stepping stone has been the starting pitching. With a little more consistent offensive productivity, the Mets could very well be making an assault for the Wild Card. But lets not digress.
This is something I said back on Memorial Day:
Dillon Gee gets the start today against Pittsburgh; a young team on the uptick and playing at a comparable winning percentage as the Mets. Since Dillon Gee's first call up last season, he's done nothing but provide quality starts for the New York Mets. He's 4-0 (3.83 era) since his call-up this season and 6-2 overall.
But what's important to me is that we begin to see, Jon Niese, Gee, and Mike Pelfrey start to double, and triple-up on victories. If they are to be mainstays in a young Mets' rotation of the future (Sandy Alderson transactions aside) they need to start operating as a staff and not surrendering to their own little Private Idaho's. Yea; that was a little cheap shot at Pelfrey.
But it's Dillon Gee who's stepped in several times and stopped losing streaks. Jon Niese has pitched some hard luck games. But Dillon Gee has pitched consistently. I joked and tabbed him a Stopper once before. Let's leave it at that. The Mets won yesterday so he's not stopping anything today. But what I do want this evening is a well pitched game by Dillon Gee to double up on Jon Niese's Sunday outing.
Consistent outings by these three pitchers will determine whether the official start of Summer ushers in Hot Times In The Citi, or, a fan base falling victim to heat and team exhaustion.
If they double-up and triple-up on good, quality starts, everything will be cool.
Well, the results since then have been phenomenal and everything is cool relatively speaking. Mike Pelfery has had his good moments, and then some not so good moments. The same can be said of Chris Capuano who's coming off a rather brilliant outing his last time on the hill.
R.A. Dickey is losing some really tough games he's deserved to win. He is now closer to being last year's pitcher than being the pitcher from this past April.
But what has transpired over the last month, is Dillon Gee and Jon Niese have developed into a fine one-two punch for the Mets. They've been doubling-up each other's starts while the rest of the staff has been plugging in competitive outings. They have kept the Mets in virtually every game. With injuries decimating the offense in yet another season, the starting pitching, and bullpen for that matter, are the reasons why this team hovers near success (key word there is near; this team is not a success story however much we are enjoying the moment).
The offense has proven resilient and resourceful. They have a knack for scoring late in games. And those are endearing qualities, but they just aren't robust enough. They have their days, but consistent slugging has been lacking from this offense for some time now. It's unfortunate. But it's our reality. And as a result, we continue to chase .500 like a carrot on a stick.
But I don't view that as bad news. Mike Pelfrey strikes me as a bigger concern than the offense does. We at least have an explanation for our offensive woes; outside of Jose Reyes that is.
I had this to say on June 2nd, regarding Mike Pelfrey, the Mets' staff, and the offense, that are all still relevant today:
I'm Not Breaking Out The Party Hats And Noise Makers After Today's Win.
.....Because Mike Pelfrey couldn't handle The PIRATES!
That's why I'm only playing marbles with Jon Niese and Dillon Gee for now. I've been talking about our young pitchers learning how to be a staff instead of just being pitchers. I've been speaking about doubling-up and tripling-up on effective starts. And when I mean our young staff, I speak directly to Niese, Gee and Mike Pelfrey.
R.A. Dickey, in spite of the Mets' implosion the other day, provided a stellar start within a sequence of good starts by the Mets and is starting to show more consistency himself. If he pitched the way he did with a bad heel, then break his foot and he might throw the Mets' first ever no-hitter. But he's not part of our young staff; not of the future anyway. But right now, yes, we'll take him, obviously; hands down.
Even in the Mets current situation, there's still a case to be made for stringing together quality starts and playing sound defense. Timely hitting is third in the equation. The Ol' Amazins proved that out once before. But today, Mike Pelfrey is becoming problematic in that age old Met formula. We have absolutely zero indication which direction his mind; pitching; season; and career will go at this point. As if by choice, he remains an enigma. Where are we with Mike Pelfrey?
He above all pitchers on the Mets was supposed to be taking a huge step forward this season. There's foolish expectations; slim expectations; and then there are logical expectations. Pelfrey fell into the latter and he's failing like a broken umbrella in a monsoon.
The Mets surged back to beat the Pirates this afternoon in dramatic fashion. Whoo-Hoo! But Mike Pelfrey suffered another personal mind-blowing and debilitating loss.
Big Pelf did have a good start that he deserved to win last time out. It didn't work out though. But yes, as the Mets are proving, stringing together quality starts and playing sound defense will keep you competitive. Timely hitting is third in the equation.
Frankie Rodriguez and Jose Reyes combined to make a winner of Jonathan Niese Tuesday night in Atlanta to put the pitcher over the .500 level. Tonight against the Braves, Dillon Gee and his remarkable 7-0 record take the mound. So tonight just might be the night the New York Mets finally get their hands around the neck of .500 and can squeeze it for all it's worth.
There's still a chance these players can convince Sandy Alderson this team is worth salvaging. You have to speak fairly regarding the situation the Met fans are in. METropolis is a house divided between the those who detest the idea of trading Wright and Reyes, and those waiting around for the final demolition of the House Of Minaya.
I myself, do not think Sandy Alderson came on board to piggy-back nor promulgate the Omar Minaya Treatise on Met Baseball. We all know this is still Omar's team on the field and coming through the farm system.
Which ever side of the fence you're on, everything going on in METropolis lends itself to a completely bizarre season for Met fans who clamoured for change in our Front Office and Management, and got it. Then we found out our Ownership's situation was more dire than anyone initially realized causing to bring into question the Mets' ability to retain some our most favorite players. Our most reliable player over the years; David Wright; has been lost to a bad back for a still undetermined time. The snake bite of this season starts there..., in what has been a series of snake-bitten years for the Mets and their fans.
This year, we've been chasing that confounded .500 mark like a junk-yard dog chasing down a stray cat through a fence. But it has been a fun journey through 2011 when you ask most Met fans. So like I said, how bizarre.
Dillon Gee will try and pitch well enough so as to provide the Mets' offense with a good chance to outscore the Braves in Atlanta tonight. Should our newest Met hero come through and the offense obliges, then this dog will finally have a day ALL Met fans can celebrate before the uncertainty of the future grips us all again.
Let's Go Mets!!!
NEW YORK METS
(SP- DILLON GEE)
(SP - Tim Hudson)
From somewhere below the Mason/Dixon Line