Apr 30, 2019

Remembering Mets History: (1968) Ron Swoboda Slugs Seven April HRs

April 1968: On April 30th the Philadelphia Phillies (8-9) came to Shea Stadium to face Gil Hodges New York Mets (7-9). Hodges was ending his first month as Mets Manager & was still observing what he had to work with. Both teams were just under .500 but were hoping for good things, for the Mets they were one year away from that Miracle Season.

Tonight's game was a classic pitchers duel as the Mets Don Cardwell went on to a five hit shut out, walking no one while fanning three. It was his first win of the year against two early losses. His opponent was the Phillies Chris Short, Short pitched 7 innings & allowed just one run but that was all New York needed.

In the bottom of the 2nd inning, Ron Swoboda hit the game winning solo shot. It was Swoboda's 7th HR of the month, in which he had played in just 16 games. He also had collected 16 RBIs and was among the league leaders that early in the season.

In the second game of the 1968 season, the Mets visited San Francisco to play the Giants. In a great pitching matchup, Tom Seaver went up against Juan Marichal. The two Hall of Famers went at it, both  lasting eight innings. Seaver took a 4-2 lead into the 9th before running out of gas. The Giants Willie Mays singled & moved up on a passed ball, then scored on Jim Ray Harts base hit. Seaver was relieved by Danny Frisella and hits to Nate Oliver & Jesus Alou ended in a Mets loss.

The Mets hitting star of the day was Ron Swoboda. In the 1st Swoboda's RBI single started off the big day. Then in the 3rd inning with Ken Boswell & Tommie Agee on base, Swoboda cracked a long three run HR off Marichal into the windy San Francisco night. It was his 1st HR of the season & put New York up 4-0.

April 19th - April 21st 1968: This three day four game stretch for Swoboda was certainly a hot one. On April 19th he hit a solo HR off the Los Angeles Dodgers Claude Osteen, but the Mets went down 3-2.

The next day Tom Seaver & Bill Singer went at it, matching zeroes into the 6th inning. Bud Harrelson reached base for the Mets with a bunt single, and Art Shamsky later walked. Swoboda came up hitting a three run HR, his third of the year. The Mets went on to a 3-3 win behind Swoboda & Seaver.

Sunday April 21st was a classic double header matinee at Shea. The Dodgers took the first game but Swoboda remained hot, he hit a 4th inning two run HR off Dodger ace; Don Drysdale, in a five run Mets inning. A four run Dodger 8th & a two run 9th off Met pitchers Bill Short & Deick Selma ended in a 7-6 Met loss.

The Mets dropped the second game as well, but Swoboda stayed hot, hitting a 4th inning solo HR. He kept a five game hit streak in tact & had hit HRs in four straight games with seven RBIs.

On April 27th Swoboda hit another HR & drove in two more runs, although the Mets lost again, this time 5-3 at Cincinnati to the Reds.

 Unfortunately his hot streak ended & he would struggle the rest of the year. He would hit just 11 HRs with 59 RBIs in 132 games.

Former Mets Catcher & Helmet Inventor: Charlie O'Brien (1990-1993)

Charles Hugh O’ Brien was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on May 1, 1960. The six foot two Charlie O attended Wichita State University, hitting 25 HRs with 116 RBIs while leading his team to the 1982 College World Series.

That year he was drafted by the Oakland A’s in the fifth round as a catcher. Initially he hit .291 with 14 HRs at AA Albany in the Eastern League in 1983 but dropped off significantly the next two seasons. In 1985 the solid defensive catcher, got a September call up batting .273 in 16 games.

In 1986 he got traded to the Milwaukee Brewers along with two minor leaguers for pitcher Moose Hass. He played three seasons in Milwaukee and never hit like he did in college ever again, putting up a best .234 with 6 HRs 35 RBIs in 1989. In Milwaukee he was primarily B.J. Surhoff’s backup catcher, putting up strong defensive numbers. He threw out 43% of runners attempting to steal in 1989 & tossed out at least 36% every season in Milwaukee.

In August of 1990 he was traded to the New York Mets for two players to be named later, who turned out to be Julio Machado and another player named Kevin Brown. He didn’t hit much but became known around the league as one of NL's best defensive catchers.

O’Brien battled Mackey Sasser & Rick Cerone for the Mets catching job in 1991. Although he did not win the starting role, mostly due to his hitting, he became Dwight Gooden’s personal catcher.

With the Mets, O’Brien would also catch former Cy Young winners Bret Saberhagen & Frank Viola. In his career O'Brien would be the back stop for a total of eleven Cy Young Award winners that he would call pitches for. Only four of those pitchers actually won the Award the season O'Brien was their catcher. O’Brien became famous for his long curly hair over the collar look, similar to Gary Carter.

O'Brien debuted in New York on September 1st with the first place Mets catching Julio Valera who earned his first win that day, beating the San Francisco Giants. On September 8th O'Brien had a rare big day at the plate getting three hits with three RBIs in a Mets 12-2 win over the Phillies.

On September 11th he had another three RBI day in a Mets 10-8 win over the Cardinals topped off by a walk off Daryl Strawberry HR. In the month he hit .162 with nine RBIs in 28 games played. Behind the plate he threw out a league best 46% of would be base stealers 16 of 35.

In 1991 his first full season as a Met he hit .185 with two HRs, six doubles & 14 RBIs. But it was his defense that made him such a good player, in 1991 he posted a .988 fielding % throwing out 32% of would be base stealers. At the plate he enjoyed a three hit day on May 15th driving in a run against the Padres at San Diego.

Later that summer he drove in three runs in a 904 win over the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. He hit his first HR of the season on August 22nd in a Mets 6-0 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. On August 30th he hit a solo HR helping David Cone beat the Reds 3-2 in Cincinnati.

In 1992 as Todd Hundley's backup catcher, he threw out 46% of would be base stealers, second best in the National league while posting a .991 fielding %. At the plate he hit .212 with 2 HRs 12 doubles & 13 RBIs.

On May 1st he hit a two run HR in Atlanta against the Braves in an 8-7 win. O'Brien added another HR in late August in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. On September 14th O'Brien drove in three runs with a bases clearing double in a Mets 10-8 win at Wrigley Field.

In 1993 he had his best year at the plate & hit a career high .255 with 4 HRs 11 doubles & 23 RBIs appearing in 67 games. In early May he had a three game stretch where he had seven hits while driving in runs in three straight games. On May 25th his double in the top of the 9th inning drove in two runs putting the Mets ahead for good, after rallying from being down 4-1.

Again in July he had a three game stretch where he drove in runs in each game, enjoying a four game hit streak. In August he had another four game hit streak & had two different games where he drove in more than one run. On September 22nd, he hit a two run HR in Pittsburgh scoring Jeromy Burnitz for the game winning runs. He averaged 67 games behind the plate in each of his three seasons with the Mets.

O’Brien was not resigned for 1994 as Kelly Stinnett was given the backup catcher’s role. Charlie O went to the Atlanta Braves as a free agent & became the personal catcher of Cy Young winner Greg Maddox. He also was Steve Avery’s main catcher as the Braves went on to win the 1995 World Series. O’Brien went 2-5 in the NLCS good for a .400 average and 0-3 in the World Series against the Cleveland Indians.

Brawl At Shea Stadium: He became unpopular with Met fans, when he was involved in a brawl at Shea, leveling short time Met John Cangelosi. Cangelosi had charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch from Braves pitcher, John Smoltz. It was the second time that season Smoltz had plunked Cangelosi. The 6'2" O'Brien tackled the 5'8" Cangelosi from behind, wrestling him to the ground.

After two seasons in Atlanta, he moved onto to the Toronto Blue Jays backing up Pat Borders and having career highs in 1996 in HRs (13) & RBIs (44) hitting .238.

In Toronto he would catch Pat Hentgen in his CY Young season adding to his list of award winners. O’ Brien had brief stints with the Anaheim Angels (1998-1999) Chicago White Sox (1998) & Montreal Expos (2000) bbefore retiring in 2000.

In a 15 year career he was a lifetime .221 hitter, with 493 hits 56 HRs 119 doubles a .303 on base % & 261 RBIs. He posted a .990 lifetime fielding % making only 47 errors in nearly 5800 innings. He threw out a career 37% of would be base stealers (265 runners) posting a .990 fielding %.

Inventor: The biggest thing Charlie O’Brien will be remembered for is pioneering the hockey-style catcher's mask used today by many catchers.

While playing with the Blue Jays he invented the new style mask, and worked with the Van Velden Mask Co. of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to develop his idea. The new design, called the All-Star MVP, was approved by MLB in 1996 and O’Brien was the first to use it.

Retirement: Since baseball O'Brien, a life long hunter & lover of the outdoors, now runs one of the premier whitetail deer operations in the country, Catch 22 Ranch. His hunting success and knowledge of deer hunting has led him to be one of the key members and hosts of the ever-popular hunting show Deer Thugs.

O'Brien still resides in Tulsa.

Family: O’Brien’s son was a star basketball player & catcher at his dads old college at Wichita State. In 2011 he was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 18th round.

Former Mets Coach & Scout: Sheriff Robinson (1963-1977)

Warren Grant Robinson was born April 8th 1921 in Cambridge, Maryland. The six foot right hand hitting catcher, earned the name "Sheriff" after his father had unsuccessfully ran for County Sheriff twice, in their home town in Maryland.

Robinson began a long minor league career that began playing in 1938  in the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He soon landed with the AA Rochester Red Wings by 1941. He spent two years there before going off to serve three years in the military during World War II. He was assigned to Guam on a floating dry dock for the US Navy.

In 1946 he returned to AA Rochester moving to Baltimore with the team the next year, as they were now a AAA affiliate. He spent two years there before dropping to the low levels of the minors with the Boston Red Sox organization through 1953. In 15 years the catcher, was a .251 hitter with 44 HRs & 115 RBIs.

Retirement: In 1957 he began a three year stint as manager of the AA Oklahoma City Indians & then the Memphis Chicks. In 1960 he joined Johnny Murphy in the AL New York club organization as a minor league manager winning a Texas League pennant in 1961.

In 1963 he joined Murphy now a VP in the New York Mets organization. Robinson began as manager of the A ball Quincy Gems. In his minor league managerial career he was 786-821 (.489 %) over twelve seasons.

In 1964 he became the Mets bullpen coach under Casey Stengel, in the Mets first year at Shea Stadium. In 1965 he began the year managing at AAA Buffalo but rejoined the Mets as first base & bullpen coach under Wes Westrum. He held that position through the 1967 season, until Gil Hodges arrived.

In 1968 Robinson tried to get a young Tug McGraw to concentrate on throwing a curve ball instead of his famous screwball. McGraw & his brother Hank would both have problems & get into it with Robinson. 

Robinson then became a long time Mets scout, until the late seventies. In 1969 he scouted the Baltimore Orioles home games late in the season & ALCs for the Mets, earning a World Series ring. He made another appearance as a Mets coach for 1972 Mets under  Manager Yogi Berra, after the sudden passing of Gil Hodges.

Passing: After baseball in 1977 he became the Dorchester County tax collector until 1991. Robison passed away at age 80, in 2002 at Cambridge, Maryland.

Apr 29, 2019

Remembering Mets History (1977): Joe Torre Starts Out 7-1 As Mets Manager

May 31st, 1977: This was the start of some very dark years in Mets history, the Mets would fall into the depths of the NL East cellar, lose their star franchise hero; Tom Seaver, not sign any top free agents in the start of the free agent era & not have another winning season until 1984.

At this point in the year, 45 games in, the Mets were 15-30 & the front office parted ways with manager Joe Frazier. His replacement was Mets player, Brooklyn native Joe Torre. Torre was the Mets only Player/Manager in team history, although it was a short run.

Torre was just 36 years old & long away from his Hall of Fame managing days. His legacy as a Mets skipper would be 286-420 (.405%) in a five year span 1977-1981. But his first week went pretty good, here's a look back.

His first game as manager came on May 31st, 1977 in front of just 6,505 fans in a night game against the Montreal Expos. Craig Swan would pitch the Mets to a 7-2 victory as John Milner led the team with three RBI's coming on two run scoring singles. Jerry Grote, Bud Harrelson & relief pitcher Bob Apodaca also added RBI hits in Torre & the Mets 6-2 victory.

June 1st, 1977: The next night the Mets went to Montreal, it would be one of Tom Seaver's last starts as a Met. All the controversy surrounding his contract was coming to a head & there was a lot of buzz about Seaver & management around Stade Olympique on this night.

Seaver went about his business on the mound, obviously the whole trade rumor situation was affecting him, in 6.4 innings he gave up four runs, including a solo HR to Ellis Valentine, only striking out three. He still earned his fifth win (5-3) as catcher, John Stearns led the way with a grand slam HR. Lenny Randle scored two runs, one on a Dave Kingman hit & another on an Expo error. Joe Torre had his second win as manager.

June 2nd, 1977: The next night, Mets completed the short two game sweep over the Expos, as Jerry Koosman beat future Mets pitching coach; Dan Warthen 7-3. Warthen gave up six runs, including a Lee Mazzilli two run HR. Mazzilli would drive in three runs on the night, Felix Millan would bring in two, John Stearns & Koosman a run each.

June 3rd, 1977: The Mets returned to Shea, for a four game set with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies of the late 70's were the elite team in the NL East, winning division titles in 1976-1977-1978 & 1980. In the first game Jim Lonborg out duled Jon Matlack in 1-0 Met loss. The next night, Torre's Mets returned to their winning ways, as Nino Espinosa pitched 7.1 innings of shut out ball & reliever Skip Lockwood closed out the rest of the game, beating Steve Carlton 2-0.

Sunday June 5th, 1977: This was a special doubleheader day at Shea & one of few highlights in the '77 season. The Mets would pull off a twin bill sweep, staring out with a walk off extra inning victory. Lenny Randle drove in two runs & John Milner another, but the Mets & Phils went to extra innings.

In the bottom of the 10th, the Phils had Tom Underwood on the mound. With one out Milner & Dave Kingman singled.

Joe Torre then placed himself in the game as a pinch hitter, the crowd of just over 30,000 rose to their feet & gave him a long standing ovation. The Shea crowd loved their new manager & it was certainly a moment to be remembered. Torre was intentionally walked to load the bases. Underwood then threw a wild pitch to John Stearns & Milner scampered home with the winning run, as the Shea crows went wild once again.

In the night cap, Dave Kingman led the charge with a long 4th inning, three run HR off veteran Jim Kaat, who go on to pitch in four different decades & become a successful broadcaster after his playing days. Craig Swan pitched another fine game earning his second win of the week & Skip Lockwood earned his 8th save, his fourth save of the week in Torre's regime.

Tuesday June 7th 1977: Two nights later would have Joe Torre get to a 7-1 start as Mets manager, as the Mets beat the two time reigning World Champion Cincinnati Big Red Machine 8-0. It was to be Tom Seaver's last start at Shea Stadium in a Mets uniform until 1983. It was his last win as a Met in that time as well. The trade, known as the Midnight Massacre was just eight days away.

Trivia: On that night Tom Seaver beat Reds pitcher; Pat Zachary, one of the players he would be later traded for.

The Mets were still in last place (22-31) & 11.5 games out of first place. That would be the closest they were to first place for the remainder of the year. Torre's Mets would finish last 64-98 a full 37 games back.

Remembering Mets History: (1980) Pete Falcone Ties MLB Record Striking Out First Six Batters

Thursday May 1st 1980: A small crowd of just 5928 came out to see Joe Torre's Mets (6-11) already in 5th place take on the eventual 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies (7-9) led by Dallas Green.

Tonight an old Mets nemesis, Lefty Steve Carlton took on Brooklyn's own Pete Falcone.

Starting Lineups

The game would start out with Falcone striking out the first six batters he faced, setting a Mets record while accomplishing that feat. It also tied an MLB record & had only been done four times proio in baseball history.

Falcone struck out Lonnie Smith & Pete Rose swinging & then got Gary Maddox looking at a called third strike. In the 2nd inning, he got sluggers Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinski & then catcher Bob Boone to all go down swinging.

Falcone was going good until weak hitting reserve second baseman Lis Aguayo hit a two run homer in the 5th inning. The two runs would be all the Phillies needed in the 2-1 win. Carlton walked Eliot Maddox with the bases loaded for the Mets only run. Former Met legend Tug McGraw came on for the save as a Phillie.

The Italian American Falcone, a Brooklyn kid & cousin of Mets coach Joe Pignatano went 7-11 for the 1980 Mets, tied for second most wins on the staff.

He spent four years with the Mets, going 26-37 with a 3.91 ERA in 145 games 86 starts.

Apr 28, 2019

Mets Pitcher Who Set Team Record For Most Consecutive Rookie Wins: Dillon Gee (2010 - 2015)

Dillon Kyle Gee was born April 28th 1986 in Cleburne, Texas. 
He pitched two no hitters in high school & then went on to a successful college career.

The six foot one right hander attended the University of Texas at Arlington, getting drafted by the New York Mets in the 22nd round in 2007.

Gee was 3-1 at Brooklyn in 2007 for the A ball Cyclones getting promoted to St. Lucie in 2008. After going 8-6 there with a 2.92 ERA (5th in the league) he was given the Sterling Award & named to the All Star team. That year he also led the Florida State League with the lowest walk rate in the league. He was pushed up to AA Binghamton where he went 2-0 allowing four runs in 18 innings pitched (1.33 ERA).

In 2009 he was limited to just nine games due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He recuperated well in 2010 going 13-8 for the Bisons with 165 strike outs in 161 innings although he posted a 4.96 ERA.

On September 7th he made his first major league start with a call up to pitch against the Washington Nationals. He pitched seven innings allowing just one run on two hits earning his first win. He also made Mets history becoming the first Met pitcher to record an RBI in his first career at bat. The hit was a single off Yunesky Maya scoring Ruben Tejada.

In his next decision he allowed three runs over seven innings but took a loss to the Atlanta Braves. He then went to Philadelphia & earned a win pitching another seven innings allowing two runs on five hits. In five starts that September he was 2-2 with a 2.18 ERA striking out 17 batters in 33 innings.

In 2011 Dillon Gee began the year pitching  three games at AAA Buffalo before getting back to the Mets pitching staff. In his first outing on April 17th, he pitched into the 6th inning, allowing just one run on five hits as he beat Tommy Hanson & the Atlanta Braves 3-2 at Turner Field. The Mets offense was led by Josh Thole who had two RBI singles.

Gee followed with his second start on April 23rd at Citi Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He won that one 6-4, pitching six innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits, striking out five. In the Mets 3rd inning Jason Bay & Ike Davis had back to back HRs. Bay would drive in three runs on the night & Daniel Murphy had two hits with two RBIs as well.

After three relief appearances & two no decisions Gee went on a roll winning five straight games, bringing some excitement to a dull Mets season.

On May 19th he pitched into the 8th inning, allowing just two hits, shutting out the Washington Nationals & beating Livan Hernandez in a 1-0 pitchers duel.

On May 25th Gee, gave up four runs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, exiting after six innings. But the Mets had a big five run 2nd inning, which included a two run double from Carlos Beltran & two runs being scored on walks with the bases loaded thanks to Cubs pitcher; Casey Coleman. Gee was now 4-0 on the season.

On May 30th, Gee went up against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. The Mets supported him with seven runs once again, Josh Tole leading the charge with two runs driven in. Daniel Murphy, Ruben Tejada & Angel Pagan all had three hits on the night. Gee struck out a season high batters, allowing three runs on five its over sven innings, getting to 5-0.

On June 4th, Gee bested his record to 6-0, tying a Mets rookie record for consecutive wins. That night he shut out the Atlanta Braves for seven innings, allowing just four hits in a 5-0 win.

On June 10th he had his longest outing to date, going eight innings allowing just a run, in a 8-1 Mets win in Pittsburgh over the Pirates.

The 2011 Mets seemed to support Gee with runs more than any other pitcher. At this point the club was 31-32, six games back.

Gee pitched at least seven innings in four of these five straight wins, getting to 7-0 with a 3.05 ERA.

The 7-0 start set another Mets record for best start to a season by a rookie pitcher since Jon Matlack went 6-0 in 1972.

On June 21st he took his first loss in an interleague game at Citi Field against the Oakland A's. He did not pitch as well in the second half of the season although he was 5-3 toward the end of the season. At the end of August he allowed just one earned run in two separate outings, both ending in victories where he pitched at least six innings.

For the season Gee led the Mets in wins (13) going 13-6 with a 4.43 ERA. He struck out 114 batters walked 71, hit 14 batters pitching in 160 innings in 30 games.

In 2012 he was penciled in as the 5th starter, but his first start didn't turn out so well.

He gave up four runs taking a loss to the Washington Nats pitching into the 6th inning. On April 16th, he pitched seven innings in Atlanta, beating the Braves 6-1 for his first win of the year. His next outing was bad as well, allowing seven runs & a career high twelve hits, to the eventual World Champion San Francisco Giants.

In May he went 2-1 beating the Blue Jays in Toronto & the San Diego Padres, where he struck out a career high nine batters, at Citi Field. He followed with two decent outings pitching into the 7th inning both times, allowing two runs in each game but earned no decisions.

On June 9th he took a tough 4-2 loss in the subway series, bit followed up with a win over the Baltimore Orioles, striking out another nine batters. All in all in June he was 1-3 & his ERA had crept up to 4.42.

On July 7th he beat Jeff Samardzija & the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field, allowing just one run in eight innings of work. Following that start he felt a numbness in his arm & a blood clot was found in his throwing shoulder. He was shut down for the season, undergoing surgery in St. Louis on July 13th.

His season ended at 6-7 with a 4.10 ERA, 97 strike outs & 29 walks in 109 innings in 17 games. This was the first part of the downfall of the Mets as well, after the All Star break they suffered a horrible losing streak & never recovered.

In 2013 he returned to pitch six games in Spring Training, going 1-2 posting a 5.87 ERA. He struck out 18 batters walking nine in 23 innings of work. 

Gee got the start in the third Mets game of the year, it came at Citi Field against the San Deigo Padres. Although he allowed just one run on three hits over 6.1 innings, six Padres pitchers held the Mets to one run & they took a 2-1 loss. His next two starts did'y go so well as he first allowed seven runs to the Philadelphia Phillies & then five runs to the Colorado Rockies both on the road.

On April 21st, he finally got his first win, shutting out the Washington Nats over 5.2 innings in a 2-0 Mets win, giving Jordan Zimmermann his first loss of the year. Gee would lose three of his next four decisions in May & be 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA before turning things around.

On May 30th, he defeated the AL New York club in the subway series sweep, allowing just one run on four hits, pitching into the 8th inning. Gee struck out a season high 12 batters while earning the win. From there he pitched well winning three straight games & seven of nine decisions. He allowed just three runs in twenty innings over the three game win streak. On June 17th, he took a heart breaking loss at Atlanta after shutting out the Braves for 8 2/3 innings. He agave up a two run walk off HR to Freddie Freeman for the loss. 

On July 14th he finally got to the .500 mark with a win against a hot Pirates team in Pittsburgh. In his next start at Citi Field he again shut out the Braves, this time over seven innings but earned no decision as the Mets were blanked 2-0. In August he went 3-1, only allowing more than two runs in a game  once in six starts.

On August 19th he beat the Twins in Minnesota, allowing just one run into the eighth inning while striking out nine. On August 30th, he edged out 15 game winner Jordan Zimmermann again in a 3-2 Mets win, pitching into the 8th inning. Gee Pitched into the 7th inning or beyond twelve times during the year, all from May 30th on. 

He pitched well again & finally earned a win against the Braves on September 4th. He went 2-2 in September and also pitched  six shut out innings over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 15th, but got no decision.

Although he wasn't as dominating as Matt Harvey was all year, he still led the Mets staff in wins with twelve (12-11) starts (32) & innings (199). He was second among starters in strike outs (142) & walked just 47 batters, whil pitching two complete games.

With Matt Harvey out for the 2014 season & an injury to Joantan Neise, Gee was named the Mets Opening Day starter. He earned the right with a good Spring Training performance & being one the Mets main pitchers, if not the main pitcher over the last three seasons. 

Gee pitched into the 7th inning on Opening day, allowing four runs, but the bullpen blew it for him as the Mets took a rare Opening Day loss 9-7 to the Washington Nats. He earned no decisions in his next two starts, allowing three runs or more both times. 

On April 16th he finally earned that first win, with his best game to date. Gee helped the Mets complete a sweep in Arizona, as he shut out the D-backs in seven innings, allowing just three hits. He took a 3-0 loss against Adam Wainwright & the St. Louis Cards next, but only allowed two runs in that start.

On April 27th he threw eight shut out innings against the Miami Marlins & then on May 4th six scoreless in Colorado to beat the Rockies, getting to a 3-1 record. It was back on the DL for Gee, as he missed two months of action, returning on July 9th. He was solid in that start throwing seven innings while allowing just one run to beat the Braves at Citi Field. But from there he earned five straight losing decisions over seven games. Gee closed out August with back to back victories & then went 1-2 in September. 

He finished out the year 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA, striking out 94 batters walking 43 in 137 innings making 22 starts. His wins & strike outs were the lowest among the starters & his 4.00 ERA was second highest to Bartolo Colon who was a 15 game winner.

In the off season Gee was the subject of many trade talks & rumors. He took it all in stride & went about his business realizing he couldn't do anything about it but pitch well. Although he was shopped there were no deals made. 

It was assumed Gee would pitch out of the bullpen or possible fight for a fifth spot in the rotation with Rafael Montero. When the Mets got news that Zach Wheeler needed Tommy John surgery & would miss the whole season, Gee found himself back in the rotation after having a solid Spring. 

His first start of 2015 came on April 11th in Atlanta, in the Braves home opener. A couple of Mets errors & Gee serving up five runs earned him his first loss. His next start was no better allowing four runs to the Miami Marlins. On May 3rd he pitched his best game of the year, but came up short in a 1-0 loss to the Washington Nationals.

He was soon placed on the DL with a groin injury, getting replaced on the roster by Noah Syndergaard, the rest is Mets history.

He did make a return in early June when Terry Collins announced he would use a six man rotation. Gee was pounded by the Padres in San Diego for seven runs on eight hits in just four innings, falling to 0-3. After a relief appearance he got one more start, it came on June 14th at Citi Field. That day the Atlanta Braves roughed him up for eight runs on eleven hits as he didn't get past the 3rd inning. It was over for Dillon Gee, he was designated for assignment, never to return to the 2015 NL Champions.

Quotes: Dillon Gee- "I’m almost at the point now where I just don’t even care anymore. I mean, I’m kind of just over it all."

After finishing the year in AAA at Las Vegas going 8-3. At the end of the year he opted out of his contract. That winter he was signed by the Kansas City Royals.

In 2016 he was 8-9 pitching in 33 games (14 starts) with the Royals posting a 4.68 ERA.

In January of 2107 he signed with the Texas Rangers & had a fantastic Spring Training. He got up to the club in late May pitching until mid June. On June 6th, Gee faced his old Mets teammates, giving up four runs on eight hits, including HRs to Juan Lagares, Asdrubal Cabrera & Neil Walker. He was let go in mid June & signed with the Minnesota Twins. 

He was back on the mound by August, on August 8th he got his first career save. Gee made a start on August 21st & earned a win beating the Chicago White Sox. It was his best outing of the year, six innings one run on two hits with 4 Ks. On the year he was 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA & one save.

In his eight year career he is 51-48 with a 4.09 ERA making 128 starts in 165 appearances. He struck out 619 batters & walked 268 in 853 innings pitched. In January 2018 he signed on with the Chunichi Dragons of Nippon Japan.

Family: Dillon & his wife Kari Ann had their son born in November 2013.

Apr 27, 2019

50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: (April 29th 1969) The Mets Play Thier First Game Outside The United States

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

Tuesday April 29th 1969: This game would mark the first time the New York Mets ever played a regular season game outside of the United States. It began an NL East competition that would last into the new millennium when the Expos left Montreal for Washington D.C.

Montreal Expos history: The 1969 expansion, Montreal Expos were named after the 1987 Worlds Fair (Expo '67) held in the city. Montreal had been an AAA home to the Montreal Royals, a long time minor league club that began play in 1897.

With the exception of ten years (1918-1927) minor league ball was played since then in Montreal for 53 years. The Royals were an affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, the place where Jackie Robinson also played for breaking into MLB. The team won seven championships in their era.

The first star player for the Expos was the Popular (future Met) Rusty Staub whom the locals named "Le Grande Orange". The future Cajun chef also learned to speak French while in Montreal.

Jarry Park, Montreal Quebec: The Expos played in a large park area where a baseball field was built- Jarry Park (or Park Jarry as the French Canadians say) was home to the club until they moved to Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) in 1976.

Park Jarry was a cold windy place, with the sun setting in west blinding the first baseman's eyes. Forgotten is the fact that there was a large swimming pool beyond the outfield, belonging to the parks grounds.

This was long before the pools & splash HRs of today in various in ballparks. Pirate slugger Willie Stargell once landed a 490' shot into the pool, earning its nickname "Willies Pool". Today the area is Stade Jarry a tennis stadium.

Just 8,577 fans showed up on a brisk Montreal afternoon to watch Gene Mauch's Expos (7-12) face Gil Hodges eventual World Champion Mets (8-11). Veteran MudCat Grant went for the Expos taking on the Mets lefty, Jerry Koosman.

Starting Lineups

The game was highlighted by two HR's hit by Ed Kranepool. Kranepool blasted a 2nd inning shot & a 6th inning shot both off of Mud Cat Grant.

It was all the Mets needed as fine pitching once again came from the 1969 Mets.

Koosman would pitch into the 5th inning, allowing no runs on two hits. Fireballer Nolan Ryan came in relief went the distance shutting out the Expos, striking out seven walking no one & scattering four hits. He earned the victory to go 2-0 on the year.

Apr 26, 2019

Remebering Mets History (2016) Mets Score Franchise Innings Record 12 Runs & Yoenis Cespedes 6 RBIs

Friday April 29th 2016: Terry Collins second place Mets (13-7) were riding a six game win streak as they entered a weekend series with Bruce Bochy's San Francisco Giants (12-11). A crowd of 39,764 settled in to Citi Field on chilly rainy evening.

The Mets were hot & tonight would erupt in total fire with a historic third inning. Steven Matz took the mound for New York & cruised along with six scoreless innings striking out four scattering seven hits getting his record to 3-1. Jerry Blevins allowed the only Giants run, Logan Verrett continued his good pitching with a scoreless 8th besting his ERA to 0.52. Hansel Robles mopped up.

Tonight marked the first time in six games that Yoenis Cespedes returned to the Mets line up after bruising his right leg.

The Mets got to Padre starter Jake Peavey with a historic third  inning, scoring 12 runs the most in franchise history. The Mets sent fifteen men to the plate collecting eight hits & four walks including a Cedpedes grand slam that set a Mets record for most RBIs in an inning.

Curtis Granderson & David Wright started out the inning with a walks. Michael Conforto then hit his tenth double of the year bringing in Granderson with the first run.

Yoenis Cespedes then drove a single to center field bringin in Wright & Conforto, making it 4-0 Mets. Lucas Duda then drew a walk, followed by a Neil Walker double off the right field wall. The Giants Bruce Bochy changed pitchers bringing in a gut destined to benefit the Mets -Mike Broadway!

Asdrubal Cabrera then doubled making it 6-0 Mets & the inning continued. Kevin Plawecki walked, Steven Matz went down on strikes. Granderson, who had led off the inning then singled, scoring Cabrera making it 7-0 Mets. David Wright then singled, next Michael Conforto delivered again, another with a base hit, scoring Plawecki making it 8-0.

The inning wasn't over yet, Yoenis Cespedes, the thirteenth Met to bat in the inning came up & made Mets history. Cespedes blasted an amazing memorable grand slam HR, sending the Citi Field crowd into a frenzy.

Cespedes set a Mets record with six RBIs in a single inning & totaled the Mets run output in the inning to 12, setting a franchise record, passing the previous 11 run inning set in 2006. Amazing.

Quotes: Terry Collins on Cespedes- "You just get used to him doing something big. And he came through again."

Cespedes now has seven HRs with 23 RBIs & is batting .313. How good does that signing look now?

Quotes: " I said it during Spring Training, a lot of fans are expecting me to do what I did last year. But my focus is just on doing my job and continuing to help the team."

Quotes: Terry Collins on the Mets Historic inning: "That's pretty amazing," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "It was just one of those freaky things that you don't ever expect to have against a team as good as the Giants."

At this early point in time the Mets were just 1/2 game out of first place.