If he had to do it all over again, New York Mets right-hander Dillon Gee probably would’ve thrown a changeup to Phillies cleanup hitter Ryan Howard. At least, that’s what pitching coach Dan Warthen would’ve thrown Howard, anyway.
Instead, Gee chose to pound Howard with a fastball inside with the bases loaded, two outs and the count 2-2 in the top of the sixth inning -- and he paid for it.
New York Mets
Howard didn’t get all of Gee’s heater, but he managed to get his hands inside of it and drove it just over the right-field wall for a grand slam, giving the Phillies an 8-0 lead. They went on to beat the Mets 10-3, on Friday night.
“I mean, we had been pounding him inside,” said Gee, who was making his first-ever appearance out of the bullpen. “That pitch was pretty much where I wanted to be. He just got his hands inside of it and kept it fair.”
Warthen, however, wished Gee would’ve tried a different approach to finish off Howard.
“It’s his first time relieving. He did a nice job there,” Warthen said. “I just have a questionable pitch selection on Howard. He had him all sped up. His changeup is one of his best pitches, and he could’ve used it in that selection.”
“If you look back, obviously if I had thrown a changeup there maybe I would’ve had a better chance of getting him out,” Gee said. “But we went the fastball in. I thought I made a decent pitch.”
Said Gee of coming out of the bullpen: “I’m not used to it. I felt fine. It’s a little weird but I think I can do it. I was just trying to get loose down there and get going.”
Gee wound up giving up two walks and hitting a batter in his 1 2/3 innings of work, and Collins indicated after the game that the team might look in a different direction as far as the relief core was concerned.
"You'd like to put guys in positions where they're most comfortable," Collins said.