What a performance by right-hander Dillon Gee on Wednesday night in his return to the rotation after missing nearly two months to a strained right lat.
Gee stymied the Atlanta Braves for seven innings, holding them to one run on six hits while walking one and striking out four.
“I felt like I was making my debut all over again,” Gee said.
Gee hit the ground running, facing the minimum 15 batters through his first five innings. A single by Tommy La Stella was wiped out by a double play, while a walk to B.J. Upton was erased after he was caught stealing.
“He was sailing along about as good as you can possibly do. He made pitch after pitch,” Collins said. “That’s the Dillon Gee we have known to love.”
Gee pitched into the eighth, but was pulled after the Braves put runners on first and second with no outs after a pair of singles. He was on a 95 pitch limit, but needed only 88 pitches on the night.
The significance of that was not lost on reliever Vic Black. “Incredible. We assumed he was on a pitch count, but then it was, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s the sixth inning already and we haven’t moved. Awesome. Absolutely awesome.”
Gee’s strong performance led to a 4-1 Mets victory and the Mets are now in good position to complete a 4-game sweep against their division rivals.
“I’ve been gone so long,” said Gee about the feeling in the clubhouse. “I don’t know what they were going through. I just know it’s nice now. I know we’re expecting to win.”
So the Mets Opening Day starter returns and picks up right where he left off, winning his fourth game of the season and lowering his ERA to 2.56 in nine starts this season.