It's fun to watch Gee pitch. He doesn't overpower guys. He just beats them. I love that he developed a cutter earlier in the week and used it in a game days later. I loved how, even when he thought he had Martin Prado struck out in the fifth, he hung in there to get the Braves' leadoff hitter on an inning-ending grounder to short.
I like how softspoken he is after the games, too. He doesn't seem to be overly impressed by his own success.
Which all jibes with the fact that, as a 21st-round selection in the 2007 amateur draft, this isn't someone who's had people fawning over him for his entire life. Look at that round of the '07 draft, and you see that only four of the 30 draftees have made the majors _ and one of those, the White Sox's Chris Sale, didn't sign out of that draft, instead pitching his way to a first-round selection by the Chisox in last year's draft.
When you look at the Mets' 07 draft, you see that Gee could be salvaging what was otherwise an absolutely awful group so far. The only other players to even get major-league service time were Eddie Kunz and Lucas Duda. Yeesh. If you want to point to reasons why the Mets are in such bad shape, there's one.
--The Mets dropped Jason Bay to sixth in their lineup. If you look at Bay's FanGraphs page, you can see that he is hitting a career high number of groundballs, 43 percent. Last night, he responded to his demotion by grounding out to third, striking out, reaching on an error by Braves shortstop Alex Gonzalez and hitting into a 6-4-3 double play.
--Speaking of lineup switches, David Lennon asked Terry Collins whether Jose Reyes should move to third, given that the Mets' heart of the order doesn't have much meat to it. Collins said no. Reyes doesn't want to, either. It's pretty clear, as Lennon agrees, that Reyes is most comfortable atop the lineup.
--In another story, Lennon pointed out that, while second base was such a Mets headache in spring training, their infield is now replete with second baseman. And don't forget, Reyes played 43 games at second base - yielding to Kazuo Matsui - during the 2004 season.
--Another nice win for the Yankees, and while they have obvious areas of concern - Jorge Posada, lefty relief and the inevitable lineup drop of Derek Jeter (at least against right-handers, and at least back down to second) - they have to be utterly pleased with the way things have gone so far.
The reality is that, given the way the starting pitching trade market looks, the Yankees' biggest "acquisition" might be Phil Hughes, and that's if Hughes can actually rediscover his velocity. Unless the Yankees are willing to give up a significant major-league piece - Brett Gardner? - for Atlanta's Derek Lowe, which I don't see occurring at this point.
--Craig Biggio, a Long Island native, urged Jeter to enjoy his climb toward 3,000 hits.
--In the second item of Erik Boland's Yankees notebook, Joe Girardi expresses surprise that this "home-plate collision" discussion has gone on for so long - thanks to Brian Sabean's crazy comments about Scott Cousins. Agreed. Sympathy to the Giants for losing their best player, but enough is enough, already. These rule-change proposals are ridiculous.
Posey says "it isn't necessary" for him to return Cousins' call of apology. Eh. Given that Cousins has received death threats, I think it would Posey would be doing the right thing by calling Cousins and then telling the world that he called Cousins. Granted, that's easy for me to say since I'm not the one who was knocked out of the season by Cousins.
--For my Sunday Insider, I wrote about an interesting incident from 2010 that involved Tim Hudson, Hanley Ramirez and Fredi Gonzalez. I love backstories like this. The Insider also features notes on the Astros, relief pitching and a promotion for this Bobby Valentine event.
I hate to sound like a buzzkill, and I understand the timing given Carter's grave illness, but I say no. Yes, Carter was a huge part of the 1986 team, but the reality was that he spent just five years with the Mets, and three of them (1987-89) were pretty terrible.
If anyone's number should be retired from that '86 team, IMO, it should be Keith Hernandez's 17.
--Have a great day. Let's plan to have a contest on Tuesday.