In a curious move that had everyone shaking their heads, Terry Collins took Dillon Gee out of Thursday night’s game against the Yankees with one out in the eighth inning after throwing just 88 pitches. Collins explained himself after the game.
Collin said after Gee’s recent struggles, he wanted to get him out of the game on a high note. Also, two lefties were due up.
“This guy has had such a tough time in the last month,” Collins said according to ESPNNewYork.com. “I had Scott Rice ready. I knew they were going to hit Ichiro. If he gets on, you’ve got to go to Scott Rice for Gardner and Cano. I mean, Cano is going to have to face the lefty.
“So I just said, ‘You know what? He’s done a tremendous job up to this point.’ I didn’t necessarily like what I saw coming out of his hand in the last inning. He had about a 20-minute inning that he sat on the bench. I just said, ‘I’m going to go with the fresh arm.’”
I have no problem with taking out a struggling pitcher a little early to preserve a good game, but this situation did not call for it. Dillon Gee was still pitching well, evidenced by the fact that he struck out the last five hitters he faced. Plus, the Mets had scored a run in the previous inning to make it a 3-1 game. That gave Gee a bit of a cushion — Gee would not have coughed up the lead even if he gave up a home run. Collins at least could have left Gee in until he gave up a hit, then taken him out at the first sign of trouble.
If Collins knew he was going to do this, then why bother sending Gee out for the eighth inning at all? If he really didn’t like what he saw in the previous inning, why not just shake his hand and tell him “job well done” at the end of the seventh?
No, this move really made no sense at all.