Dillon Gee said his strained right lat muscle was pain-free after he pitched into the third inning in his rehab start for the Brooklyn Cyclones Sunday at MCU Park.
"I feel good right now,'' said Gee, the Mets' Opening Day starter, who has been on the disabled list since May 11. "I was definitely a little erratic at first. It took me a little bit to get that under control, but I felt fine physically, and that's the goal.''
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Gee threw 55 pitches, 36 for strikes, and left after recording his second strikeout of the third inning. He struck out six in 22/3 innings. He allowed one run, four hits and a walk and hit a batter.
Gee gave up the run by allowing the first four batters to reach base (three hits and a walk) in the first inning. He struck out the next two hitters before inducing a groundout.
His fastball reached 92 mph and consistently sat at 91, according to a scout at the game. Gee said he struggled to command his fastball early on because of anxiety. The crowd of 7,471 was the largest he has pitched in front of since he got hurt.
"It took me a few batters to get myself under control again,'' said Gee, who was encouraged by his slider and changeup.
"I pitched in the [Gulf Coast League] last week, but that's a lot different than pitching in front of thousands of fans. It was good to get that adrenaline going again. The big test is always the next day, so hopefully everything goes the way it has been going and I'll be on to the next one.''
Gee said he will talk with the Mets' medical staff Monday about the next step.
It was the second rehab start for Gee, who is 3-1 with a 2.73 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in eight starts for the Mets this season. He pitched two scoreless innings Tuesday for the Mets' affiliate in the Gulf Coast League in Florida.
The 28-year-old righthander said he feels as if it's been forever since he pitched for the Mets. Last month, he said he aggravated the injury because he rushed his rehab process. He vowed to take things more slowly this time around.
"I'm very eager,'' Gee said. "It's tough watching all your friends play, and that's where I want to be. It seems like I've been out forever and it's not fun. It's frustrating, and it was more frustrating when I had that setback. But now I'm almost there -- I could feel it.''