Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gee's Win Good Sign for Mets

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Gee's Win Good Sign for Mets

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- The great escape began with a gift from Jayson Werth.

Dillon Gee had done his part, handing a two-run lead and a shutout to the Mets bullpen.

The desperately struggling starter needed that lead to hold. And so did the overworked and overwhelmed relief corps.

But left-hander Scott Rice allowed the first two Washington Nationals he faced in the eighth inning to reach base. Then he threw three straight balls to Werth, while a red-hot Bryce Harper waited on deck.

But then came the present in the Mets' 2-0 victory Sunday afternoon, as Gee and four relievers combined to blank the NL East favorites in the rubber game of their three-game series.

It surprised Terry Collins. And David Wright. And John Buck.

Instead of taking, Werth bounced a 3-0, 88-mph sinker into the Citi Field infield to start a double play. Rice struck out Harper to end the inning.

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth to finish off the victory for Gee and the bullpen -- which gave the Mets hope that this season might be more than just the Matt Harvey Show.

"We got lucky on that one," Wright said.

The Mets need Gee to prop up the dismal back of their rotation. And they need the tattered bullpen -- the worst in baseball (5.47 ERA) entering the day -- to help shoulder the load.

Gee (1-3) delivered Sunday, tossing 5 2/3 scoreless innings, yielding only three hits. The right-hander struck out six -- almost as many as he had entering the game (eight) after three starts.

Four relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit.

Just like that, the Mets finally had gotten the better of the Nationals, snapping a string of seven consecutive series losses.

The relief was visible on the face of Gee, who earned his first victory since he underwent surgery in July to replace a damaged artery in his right shoulder.

He had been torched for seven earned runs over three innings in a loss to Philadelphia, then five more in his last outing in Colorado over 4 2/3. …

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