His pitches rose a few inches, and Dillon Gee's night combusted in a matter of moments.
After breezing through five innings against the Phillies on Friday, the right-hander's pitches started elevating in the sixth inning and Philadelphia's hitters feasted.
Single. Single. Single, scoring a run. Home run. Ball game.
Four straight hits in the sixth inning ruined Gee's night and sent him to a defeat in the Mets' 4-0 loss to the Phillies on Friday night at Citi Field. The Mets, who were blanked for the first time all season, dropped below .500 for the first time as well.
New York Mets
"Very [frustrating]. I felt pretty good tonight," Gee said after dropping to 1-4. "Felt in control, then all of a sudden, maybe three balls I wish I could have back and it would be a different story. Just didn't execute on a couple of pitches and that really hurt me."
Gee entered Friday off arguably his best outing of the year -- 5 2/3 scoreless innings against Washington on April 21. The momentum from that start carried over early as he breezed through Philadelphia's lineup in the first five innings. The Phillies managed only four hits in the first four innings, and he even worked around a leadoff double in the third rather effortlessly.
In the sixth, Philadelphia started its third time through the order, and that's when the trouble began. After having success keeping the ball down for most of the night, Gee's pitches started getting too much of the plate. Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley singled to start the inning, and Michael Young followed with another single to drive in the game's first run.
Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard then jumped on a 1-1 changeup, hitting it over the center-field wall to give the Phillies a 4-0 lead. Gee quickly retired the next three hitters, the final ones he would face on this night, but the damage had been done.
"I was down most of the night with all the off-speed stuff and getting a lot of ground balls," Gee said. "All of a sudden that one inning, three or four pitches left up in the zone."
Mets manager Terry Collins didn't even have time to start the bullpen before it all went south.
"About by the time you got somebody up, the [four] hits would have been taken care of," Collins said. "It was just certainly uncharacteristic because he has been throwing the ball well, he threw the ball great tonight."
Despite the loss Friday, Gee has made improvements since his rough start to the year. In his second and third starts he gave up a combined 12 runs, but over the past two he's thrown 11 2/3 innings and surrendered only four. His changeup is improving, as evident Friday, and he's making strides.
"The last two outings, I felt pretty good; I think it's definitely something to build off of," Gee said. "If I can keep pitching like that and just not have all those mistakes kind of in one inning, I think I'll be all right."