Regardless of which one it was (likely a mix of both), the underdog Mets have gotten a whole lot of promise from their starters thus far in 2013, jumping out to a unexpected 2-0 start on the backs of Jonathon Niese and a brilliant 10-strikeout, one hit performance over seven innings by youngster Matt Harvey.
That’s a difficult act to follow, but follow it Dillon Gee did on Thursday, holding his own on the mound with a strong six-inning performance of his own against the woeful Padres offense.
No, it wasn’t quite the domination on the mound the Mets fans witnessed the day prior, but with just a run allowed on three hits and three walks with four strikeouts to boot, you’d be hard pressed to say that Gee wasn’t rolling through his day’s worth of work.
It’s not to say that his day was without trouble, of course. Still, Gee is coming off a season shortened by shoulder surgery to remove a blood clot, and it was just the type of promise that the Mets wanted to see from the 1.4 fWAR pitcher who has been thrust into the role of a No. 3 role.
Let’s face it — if it weren’t for the injuries knocking out both Shaun Marcum and Johan Santana, the 26-year old would have a whole lot less expected of him, especially given his lackluster spring.
That said, it’s not easy to win ball games when your team provides just a single run’s worth of support for the starting pitcher, and as far as a first post-surgery impression goes, Gee’s 2013 debut was undoubtedly a success, even in a losing effort.
Yes, the Mets were thwarted an their attempt to start off the season as the most surprising 3-0 team in the bigs, but all things considered, they’ll be more than happy to take what they got on the mound from the righty every time out.