Coming into the season, the New York Mets did not have the highest expectations. With Matt Harvey being sidelined from Tommy John surgery for most, if not all of 2014, the Mets did not expect to have a starting pitcher considered a real ‘ace’ of their staff. No one told Dillon Gee, as he has become the ace and stabilizing force for the surprising start the Mets have had to the season.
Gee suffered three rough starts to begin the season, in which he compiled a 5.03 ERA. That three-game stretch to start the season for Gee looks more like a blip on the radar than the beginning of a downward trend, as he has come out firing since.
In those four starts after, Gee has thrown 27 innings to the tune of a 0.67 ERA. In three of those four stats, Gee has pitched shutout baseball, including Sunday afternoon against the Colorado Rockies in the hitter’s haven known as Coors Field against the best offense currently in the MLB. This comes after Gee shut out the Miami Marlins, the sixth best offensive in baseball, through eight innings in his previous start as well.
The biggest turnaround in the last four starts has been his ability to keep the ball in the park. In his first three starts, Gee surrendered five long balls, but has given up none in the four starts since. Gee will never be a fireballer that racks up strikeouts, which is usually a trait aces have, but he makes the most of what he has. With Juan Lagares in center, Curtis Granderson in right, and Chris Young and Eric Young Jr. platooning in left, the Mets have a much improved defensive outfield, which helps play into Gee’s strengths as a fly ball pitcher.
This is something that should not be surprising for Mets’ fans or people in the baseball world in general anymore. Gee had a rough start to last season as well, compiling an ERA of 5.68 through May. But after that, he was one of the best pitchers in baseball, pitching to an ERA of 2.79 the remainder of the season.
Just like this season, the long ball is what hurt Gee in those first two months of the season. In April and May he gave up nine home runs, but in June, July, August and September he surrendered only 15.
Gee looks to have continued his strong performance from last season and there are no signs of him slowing down anytime soon. If he can continue to keep the ball in the park and pitch to his strengths, his success will continue. Gee is an ace by most standards, and easily the most under the radar one in the MLB.