Mets 3 Cubs 1
- Last Updated: 6:53 AM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 2:46 AM, July 8, 2012
Dillon Gee returned some normalcy to the Mets rotation yesterday.
After consecutive duds by co-aces R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, the Mets needed quality and quantity, and Gee answered the bell with eight superb innings that led the Mets to a 3-1 victory over the Cubs at Citi Field.
The victory put the Mets (46-39) in position to close the first half of the season today with a winning homestand, already having beaten the Phillies two of three games this week before splitting the first two games of this series with the Cubs.
Gee (6-7, 4.10 ERA) allowed one run on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts to snap a personal two-game skid.
“I think I’ve thrown better than my record would show,” Gee said when asked to evaluate his first-half performance. “I’ve had some games where I was real unlucky. Personally, I think I threw a lot better in the first half this year than I did last year.”
Reminded he began last season 8-1, Gee didn’t flinch.
“The record is totally skewed, but personally I feel I’m pitching better,” he said. “I can’t really explain my 8-1 last year — a lot of things were just going right. I’ve been more consistent this year.”
Ike Davis and Jordany Valdespin handled the offensive chores for the Mets. Davis hit a two-run homer in the third inning against Jeff Samardzija after Valdespin had delivered a solo blast in the second.
The victory was the Mets’ second in 1 1⁄2 weeks against Samardzija, who was the losing pitcher at Wrigley Field on June 27 when the Mets rolled to a 17-1 win. The Mets are 2-3 against the Cubs in 2012 and look to even the season-series against a team tied with the Rockies (32-52) for the worst record in the major leagues.
Dickey and Santana were clobbered in successive starts against the Phillies and Cubs on Thursday and Friday, allowing a combined 24 hits and 12 runs, but Gee provided a tourniquet for a rotation that has carried the team the entire season.
By lasting eight innings, Gee also kept a suspect bullpen in the background. Bobby Parnell pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save, but manager Terry Collins was allowed to avoid a treacherous eighth inning merry-go-round that has included Miguel Batista and Jon Rauch, among others.
For the second time this season, the Mets started nine players who were homegrown. That fact wasn’t loss on Collins.
“Sandy has done a great job here and will continue to do a great job here,” Collins said, referring to general manager Sandy Alderson. “But once in a while you reap the benefits of the people before you, and those people put together a pretty good minor league system, and we’re seeing the benefits of it.”
Gee kept the Cubs off the board until the sixth, when David DeJesus delivered an RBI single that sliced the Mets’ lead to 3-1. But with the tying runs on base and two outs, Gee struck out Alfonso Soriano to escape trouble.
Davis’ two-run homer in the third extended the Mets’ lead to 3-0. The homer was Davis’ 12th, tying him for the team lead with Lucas Duda and Scott Hairston. Ruben Tejada singled leading off the inning before Davis launched an 0-2 splitter off the façade of the elevated porch in right.
“Dillon pitched a heck of a game and [the runs] ended up being enough,” Davis said. “But you never know.”