Mets Blank Marlins, 4-0; Gee Pitches eight Scoreless Innings

Howard Goldin

On Sunday afternoon, Mets starter Dillon Gee accomplished something he had not done in nearly nine months, earned a victory at Citi Field. His last win at the Met’s home ballpark was on August 8, 2013 against the Rockies.

Gee became the first Mets starter in the 2014 campaign to go eight innings. Pitching deep into a game is a normal occurrence for the 28 year-old. He has remained for at least six innings in 22 of his last 23 starting assignments. The lone exception to Gee’s game longevity took place on April 11, when he pitched 5.2 innings against the Angels.

After Sunday’s contest, Gee spoke of going deep into a game as one his goals, “My goal is to get as deep as I can. It’s always a bonus when our starter goes deep.”

At the end of eight, Gee had thrown a season high 110 pitches, but had blanked the Marlins batters and only yielded three hits although he walked four batters. He did not wish to leave the game, “I definitely wanted to go out. Complete game chances don’t always come around. I wanted to finish.”

The Mets skipper, Terry Collins, understood his pitcher’s mentality, but wouldn’t allow Gee to complete the game, “He was today determined to go deeper in the game. I wouldn’t let that happen.” Collins explained that he didn’t want to take a chance that Gee would lose a game after running into problems because he threw too many pitches.

The first hit given up by the righty did not come until Marcel Ozuna, the lead-off batter in the fourth, singled. The other two singles the Mets starter surrendered were hit by the first two batters in the seventh, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones, but they remained stranded on base when the inning concluded.

Carlos Torres pitched a perfect ninth in relief.

The deserved accolades came to Gee after the contest concluded. Collins remarked, “His [Gee] change-up is as good as anybody’s in baseball. At the end of the year, this guy’s going to have 15-16 wins.”

Chris Young, who drove in two runs with his first home run as a Met in an 11 pitch at bat, praised Gee, “He threw an amazing game today.”

The starting catcher Anthony Recker said of his battery mate, “He did a great job of really keeping the batters off balance.”

Although the opposing starter, Tom Koehler, wore a Miami Marlins Jersey, he had friends and family supporting him in the stands. The 27 year old was born in the Bronx. He remained in the metropolitan area as he grew. Koehler graduated from New Rochelle High School,, where he lettered in three sports. He attended college at the State University at Stony Brook before being drafted by the Marlins in 2008.

Koehler gave up four runs in five innings on Sunday which earned him the loss. The performance was a disappointment to him, his family members and friends as in each of his last four starts Koehler pitched at least six innings without yielding more than two runs.

After the game, both clubs left New York. The Mets travel to Philadelphia for a two game series.

howardg53@yahoo.com