Jun 11

Dickey starts as Mets eye .500

Rebuilding teams make progress in small steps, and the Mets could make one tonight, with a victory at Pittsburgh, they could reach .500.

Should they win and Florida lose, they would trail the third-place Marlins by a half-game.

The Mets have been doing it with pitching with surprise Dillon Gee’s gem last night their seventh consecutive quality start. Last year’s surprise starter, R. A. Dickey, will start for the Mets.

After a slow start, Dickey is 2-1 with a 1.85 ERA over his last four games.

Here’s tonight’s lineup at Pittsburgh, which features the return of Jason Bay.

 

Jose Reyes, SS

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 3B

Angel Pagan, CF

Jason Bay, LF

Lucas Duda, 1B

Ronny Paulino, C

R.A. Dickey, RP

Jun 11

Today in Mets History: Mets lose slugfest.

The Mets have hit four homers since May 22, a span of 17 games. On this date in 1967, the Mets and Cubs combined for 11 homers in the second game of a doubleheader, won 18-10 by Chicago. The Mets hit four that afternoon.

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Bob Johnson, Jerry Buchek, Ron Swoboda and Jerry Grote all went deep for the Mets.

The Cubs broke the game open with seven runs in the third and scored in all but two innings.

 

Jun 10

Gee hopes to continue streak tonight at Pittsburgh.

Every year there is one, that player who comes out of the blue to place his indent on the season. This year for the Mets he is Dillon Gee.

GEE: Carrying Mets.

Gee competed for the fifth starter’s role during spring training, but with remaining options, didn’t stick in favor of Chris Capuano. However, when Chris Young went down, Gee, who pitched well at the end of last season, was brought up from Triple-A Buffalo and takes a 6-0 record into tonight’s game at Pittsburgh.

Gee has anchored the Mets’ rotation which has been surprisingly good recently, going 6-2 with a 2.76 ERA over the past 14 games, including six straight quality starts.

The Mets have won all of Gee’s eight starts, and over his last four games opponents are hitting .161 against him. One of those games was beating Pittsburgh, May 30, at Citi Field, giving up three runs in seven innings.

“He’s proved that he can pitch at this level and have success,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “All he does is give you quality outings.’’

Here’s tonight’s lineup behind Gee:

Jose Reyes, SS

Justin Turner, 3B

Carlos Beltran, RF

Daniel Murphy, 1B

Angel Pagan, CF

Lucas Duda, LF

Josh Thole, C

Ruben Tejada, 2B

Dillon Gee, RP

 

Jun 10

What’s the answer for Bay?

Terry Collins floated the idea several weeks ago, but never followed through with batting Jason Bay second in the order behind Jose Reyes.

Theoretically, Bay would get more fastballs with running threat Reyes on first. Batting second snapped David Wright out of funks before, and perhaps it would do the same for Bay.

BAY: Strike three. You see this a lot.

 

Obviously, dropping him to sixth didn’t work. He’s still chasing breaking balls away. He’s also not turning on the fastball, and his plate presence is terrible.

Bay’s problems are physical and mental, and there’s no quick fix. Afterall, this has been lingering for two years with no signs of coming out of it.

I don’t believe sending Bay to the minor leagues is the answer, because what good does beating up on those pitchers do? Assuming, of course, he does beat up on them.

Bay needs to work himself out of this by playing, so an extended benching isn’t the answer, either. Hitting second might not work, but it hasn’t been attempted.

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Jun 10

Today in Mets History: Keith hammers Cubs.

Keith Hernandez wasn’t much of a home run hitter, but on this date in 1987, he went deep twice as the Mets pummeled the Chicago Cubs, 13-2, at Wrigley Field.

HERNANDEZ: So smooooth.

The game also featured four hits each from Gary Carter and Kevin McReynolds. Hernandez, Tim Teufel and Rafael Santana drove in three runs apiece, and Dwight Gooden pitched eight innings to earn the victory.

I always liked watching Hernandez play. Whenever I watched the Met from that era, Hernandez was always the guys I’d want at the plate when a clutch hit was needed. Darryl Strawberry was always feared for his power, but Hernandez was the one with the game on the line.

One question I’ll ask Hernandez when I see him next is whether he could have been a home run hitter if he tried to hit for more power. Wade Boggs always said he would hit more homers if that was his mindset, and I believe the same the same would have applied with Hernandez.

Defensively, he was superb, and along with Don Mattingly, New York was blessed to have two premier first basemen during the 1980s.

Hernandez was so smooth at the 3-6-3 double play, and, of course, making the throw to third off a bunt. Nobody made that play better than Hernandez.

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