Collins Pulling Gee Was A Mistake That Didn’t End Up Hurting The Team
Updated with thoughts by Joe D. on 5/31
When Terry Collins removed Dillon Gee in the eighth inning last night after registering one out, I like everyone else who were interacting on Twitter busted a gasket.
Here was Gee, pitching the game of his life and in the midst of retiring 15 consecutive batters – including the last five via a strikeout – and Collins decided to pull him despite only throwing 88 pitches to that point? Has he gone mad?
We’ve seen this so many times before from Collins and as usual his reasoning was as irrational as ever citing that “he didn’t want Gee to lose the game.”
Time and time again he’s done this and in fact it had the inverse effect resulting in losses for Jeremy Hefner, Shaun Marcum and Jon Niese. Despite his illogical attempts to secure a win for his pitchers, in most cases it led to a loss or no-decision.
Also, what does it say to his pitchers that Collins doesn’t trust them enough to win their own games?
Last night worked out okay for Gee, but that still doesn’t make what Collins did rational or right.
It was a terrible call, and to compound it by going to Scott Rice who desperately needs a day off, only made the decision even more foolish.
Rice leads the league in appearances and has played in 31 of the Mets’ first 51 games. That’s a recipe for disaster for the rookie who is on pace for 100 appearances – smashing every franchise record in the books.
Original Post 5/30
So picture yourself as Dillon Gee.
You’ve had a rough start to this season after coming off surgery.
Questions about your role have been brought up with the impending arrival of super prospect Zack Wheeler.
You take the ball in the Subway Series against the Yankees – trying to lead your team to incredibly rare four-game sweep.
And you deliver the game of your life.
But after a career-high 12 strikeouts and retiring 15 batters in row, you see your manager Terry Collins trotting out from the dugout. You’ve only thrown 88 pitches though and have looked great!
Pitching coach Dan Warthen didn’t pay a visit to check on you. You didn’t allow a hit or walk to signal for the pitching change. You simply dominated but wound up being pulled after 7.1 innings.
Now looking back on all this, Scott Rice came in and did another great job retiring the two lefties. Collins looks like a genius for pushing the right button at the right time, but was that button pushed a bit prematurely?
Once Ichiro was announced as the pinch hitter and with Brett Gardner on deck, the decision to bring in Rice to face the lefties made sense at the time.
But here’s the thing: Gee didn’t seem to have much trouble with the bevy of Yankee hitters thrown his way all night, except for a meaningless solo homer he allowed to Robinson Cano.
This could be considered a case of over-managing by Collins, but the result was favorable for the Mets.
Gee showed little emotion after being pulled, but he had to have been perturbed. He easily could have gone the distance if he kept up his pace.
At least give him a chance to get through eight innings. Now that the Mets have a somewhat established closer in Bobby Parnell, the ninth inning was his based on the save situation.
But Gee would have had even more of a confidence boost if he’d been given the chance to put up eight frames of one run ball.
In the end, this really isn’t that big of a deal. The most important thing is that the Mets won the ballgame and pulled off the four-game sweep.
Gee now needs to focus on building upon this effort to erase the rough start to his season. This is the type of effort that can really get him going.
And with Wheeler not too far away, each start for Gee – and Jeremy Hefner for that matter – will be highly scrutinized.
About the Author: Jim Mancari
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.
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