WASHINGTON - Dillon Gee began his season as the Mets' Opening Day starter. He concluded it in limbo, his rotation spot for next season far from assured.
In the Mets' 7-4 victory over the Nationals Thursday in Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader, Curtis Granderson drove in three runs and Matt den Dekker knocked in the go-ahead run with a single in the eighth. But Gee came away without a decision, allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings, raising his ERA to 4.00.
The outing capped a rough season in which Gee, 28, finished 7-8 and threw only 1371/3 innings because he missed time with a lat injury that sidelined him nearly two months.
"Right now, the word that comes to mind is frustrating," said Gee, who noted he was healthy in the second half. "I've been very inconsistent, with the injury and everything that we went through. This whole year leaves a sour taste in my mouth."
In years past, it's possible that Gee wouldn't be so vulnerable. But the Mets have built a nucleus of young arms, with as many as eight pitchers vying for five spots.
After a first half in which Gee went 4-1 with a 2.56 ERA, Terry Collins expected Gee to steady himself after returning from his injury. Instead, Gee went 3-7 with a 5.10 ERA in the second half.
Said Collins: "That's not the Dillon Gee we know."
Notes & quotes: Though the Mets sent a large scouting contingent to the recent workout of slugger Yasmani Tomas, a team insider said the club is undecided about scheduling a private workout with the Cuban defector. Bidding for his services may approach $100 million, a commitment that seems out of the Mets' price range . . . Travis d'Arnaud will be examined by team doctors on Friday for an elbow issue, according to Sandy Alderson. He won't return until Saturday night at the earliest.