From the desk of: HEAD-BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Gee Forces Weigh Heavy On Pittsburgh.
I keep telling you, there's a correlation between Dillon Gee's starts and Josh Thole's bat yielding hits. Some of Josh Thole's best days at the plate (and behind it) have come while Dillon Gee has been on the mound. It's an odd phenomena; but hey, if the shoe fits, run with it. Tonight, Thole was 3 for 5 with an RBI.
All I ask is patience with Josh Thole. He won't disappoint. I'm not predicting Johnny Bench for him. But I am talking about a fine backstop who will hit better than you think with occasional pop. I believe he'll develop into an effective two-hitter in time. The two spot or seven spot will suit him fine. But I just really want this kid around beyond next year. When his critics say bad, I say overwhelmed. When Media says Mets need an upgrade at catcher, I say we need patience with him.
Mentioning Dillon Gee's name in the same sentence as the All-Star Game is something that no longer can be dismissed as improbable as well as being considered wishful thinking by many. To the contrary, if the talk about this kid in the All-Star Game isn't getting started, then I'd have to assume ignorance; as in willful dismissal and due credit for what this kid has achieved so far.
Tonight, in defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates on the road, Dillon Gee improved his record to 7-0 since his call-up to replace Chris Young.
DILLON GEE'S LINE:
8 ~ innings.
104 pitches; 73 strikes.
8 ~ hits.
0 ~ walks!
5 ~ strikeouts.
3.05 era, and shrinking.
Dillon Gee just isn't winning games. His starts are incrementally getting better. Each win has been an up-tick in effectiveness from the previous start. Where once his walks per game were a little high, tonight he walked none. His eight innings pitched are more than his previous starts.
If you want to say this came against the Pirates who's top batter was hitting .283, you may. But then you're selling Dillon Gee short. He did post handsome numbers against the Braves whom are considered a better team and won. Then when he faced a less successful team. i.e.; Pittsburgh, his effectiveness surged accordingly. That's the way I read his win against the Pirates.
Once again, Gee's stellar outing comes on the heels of Jon Niese's continuing string of quality starts. Last night, Niese evened his record at 5-5, and if you've been keeping tabs, that should speak for itself. The two pitchers; Niese and Gee, have once again combined to put the Mets in a position to reach the elusive .500 mark. The Mets' last taste was fleeting. We've gotten close to that .500 mark of credibility before because Niese, Gee, and Dickey (now that he's rejoined the ranks of consistency) have put us there. We just keep having problems punching through with Pelfrey and Capuano.
Tomorrow, R.A. Dickey will take the mound and we'll see if we can get back to .500 again.
Jon Niese's Line ~ a/o Thursday:
7.2 ~ innings.
99 pitches; 63 strikes.
3 ~ hits.
1 ~ run/earned.
4 ~ walks.
8 ~ strikeouts.
3.15 era; and falling.
OFF THE MOUND:
Jason Bay for the most part has escaped my wrath so far. I just remember the miserable first year Carlos Beltran experienced here and that's why I've slacked-up. Oh, but he's getting so close. So it's probably best he sit a few games like Terry Collins suggested. Then moving forward, if we've exhausted all methods of trying to get the old Jason Bay out of him, then what can you do?
What I am confident in though, is the Front Office will do something. Jason Bay is another big item in the Omar Minaya purge file. So in one form or another, he will be dealt with. We've learned thus far this Front Office and manager (don't let him go under spoken) react quickly to situations, unlike the last regime who so many times suffered paralysis by analysis.
In the mean time, welcome back Lucas Duda, who was tearing up Buffalo. It's good to see him again. One hit; two RBI; and a run scored ain't a bad way to fill in for the benched Jason Bay. And Duda is certainly more about the future direction of this team than Bay is. So any extended playing time for him is OK with me.
Rounding out the offensive highlights; - With the exception of Dillon Gee, every Met starter in tonight's line-up got at least one hit. Jose Reyes continued tearing the cowhide off the ball. He was 3 for 5 tonight, with a home run and two runs scored. Angel Pagan slugged a double and a triple; had one RBI; and scored twice.