After Matt Harvey's injury, it became paramount for other members of the Mets' rotation to step up and/or continue pitching well. While the focus will be on Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese over the next month, there will also be a lot of attention paid to Dillon Gee, who is currently positioned as the Mets' third best starter going 2014.
Continuing his strong work since the end of May, Gee dominated the Nationals over eight innings, allowing just four hits and two runs in 7 2/3 innings, leading the Mets to a 3-2 victory. The Mets got all of their offense from an Ike Davis two-run homer and a misplay by the Nationals defense.
The game moved at a brisk pace as neither team did much offensively against the other team's starter. Eric Young Jr. led off the game with a walk against Jordan Zimmermann and quickly stole second. Daniel Murphy followed him by driving a ball to the warning track that Denard Span caught, allowing Young to go to third. He wouldn't move from third though, as Andrew Brown popped out to Anthony Rendon for the second out, and Davis flew out to left to end the inning.
Gee retired the Nationals 1-2-3 in the first, all on ground outs. Groundballs would be a theme for him early on, as he accrued two more ground outs in the bottom of the second.
Like the second, the Mets would go down in order in the top of the third. In the bottom frame, Gee would suffer his first blemish. On a 1-1 count, Wilson Ramos parked a Gee slider into the Nationals bullpen, giving them a 1-0 lead.
Murphy led off the fourth with a single to left. Following another Brown popup, Davis took a fastball from Zimmermann and hit a shot to the opposite field, again landing in the Nationals bullpen, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Gee would retire the Nationals in order, again on three groundouts. Travis d'Arnaud hit a booming leadoff double in the top of the fifth, but wouldn't move from second.
The game would remain 2-1 until the top of the eighth. After Gee and Young were retired to begin the inning, Murphy ripped a grounder past Zimmerman and down the line, for a two-out double. Brown followed by hitting a slow grounder to Zimmerman. For whatever reason, Zimmerman decided to make a throw to first. It wasn't accurate or on time, and a hustling Murphy scored from second, to make it 3-1 Mets.
Gee retired the first two batters in the bottom of the eighth, but things quickly fell apart. Pinch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi launched a Gee pitch well into the Mets bullpen, making it 3-2. Span followed him by hitting a grounder to Omar Quintanilla, who didn't take a good route to the ball, and reached on an infield hit. Zimmerman then hit a single to left, settings thing up for Bryce Harper.
Gee was pulled for Scott Rice. After getting to a 3-0 count, Harper chose to swing and fouled the Rice's fastball off. He swung at his next pitch as well and for the fourth time in the game, grounded out to Murphy, ending the inning.
After failing to capitalize on d'Arnaud's second hit of the game in the top of the ninth, the Mets entrusted LaTroy Hawkins with the save opportunity. Hawkins got Jayson Werth to ground out to Quintanilla to lead off the inning. The second batter of the inning, Ian Desmond, lined a bullet to right. However, Davis managed to time his leap perfectly and snare the line drive. Hawkins would finish off the game by getting LaRoche to stare at a called strike three.
The Mets and Nationals continue their series tomorrow night, with Zack Wheeler scheduled to face Dan Haren.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Dillon Gee, +21.6%, Ike Davis, +20.4%
Big losers: Omar Quintanilla, -14%, Dillon Gee (batter), -7.3%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ike Davis two-run homer in fourth, +24.2%
Teh sux0rest play: Wilson Ramos solo homer in third, -12.3%
Total pitcher WPA: +51.9%
Total batter WPA: -1.9%
GWRBI!: Andrew Brown