Dillon Gee Best Choice for Mets Opening Day Nod
It may not be the choice that stirs the greatest passion in the fans or makes for any kind of juicy media meme, but Dillon Gee is both the most logical and most deserving choice to take the mound for the Mets on Opening Day.
In fact, even before previously designated Opening Day starter Jon Niese had a setback that will keep him back in Port St. Lucie for the first week of the regular season, Gee may have been the best choice to open the Mets’ 2014 season.
Matt Harvey was emerging as the Mets’ ace before his elbow troubles last year; Zack Wheeler throws the hardest and may have the greatest upside of any active Mets starter on the major league roster, and Bartolo Colon had a terrific season at age 40 for Oakland last year. No starting pitcher for the Mets has ever been as reliable for as long as Gee has now (Niese notwithstanding).
Last season, Gee was 12-11, with a 3.62 ERA for a team that finished 14 games under .500. The previous year, he was 6-7, with a 4.10 ERA and pitching well before circulation problems in his arm sidelined him for the remainder of the season in mid-July. After that, it took awhile for Gee to round back into form in 2013. In fact, for the first two months of the season, he was pretty terrible.
But beginning with his eye-opening May 30 victory at Yankee Stadium, in which Gee struck out 12, walked none and allowed four hits in 7 1/3 innings, the right-handed Texan was the Mets’ best pitcher the rest of the way, with 15 starts from May 30, in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Gee also went 13-6 in 2011 for a losing team, has always pitched well against the Nationals, Monday’s Opening Day opponent, and had a 2.75 ERA at Citi Field last season.
Overall, he has a 33-26 career record—even though he has never pitched for a winning team—and a 3.89 ERA.