Tigers take advantage of Gee’s control problems

Dillon Gee couldn’t pinpoint the reason for his lack of

command.

One thing he’s certain about, it’s not related to his

health.

The Mets right-hander couldn’t find the plate Wednesday, giving

up six runs while walking four, hitting two batters and throwing

three wild pitches in New York’s 9-1 loss to the Detroit

Tigers.

”I don’t even want to think about it,” Gee said. ”All (my

pitches) were terrible.”

Gee had shoulder surgery to repair a damaged artery in July, but

he had been solid his first three outings, giving up just two

earned runs in nine innings going into Thursday.

Gee loaded the bases in the first on a pair of walks and a hit

batter. He then walked in a run and forced in another one by

plunking Matt Tuiasosopo.

Tuiasosopo made him pay the next inning, hitting a two-run homer

over the left field wall with Miguel Cabrera on base. Cabrera had

reached base with a two-run single.

Gee said he felt good all week and was pleased with his last

bullpen session.

When asked what he learned from the outing, Gee said, ”How not

to pitch.”

”I don’t know what happened,” Gee said. ”It reminded me of

2011, my first loss to the A’s. I couldn’t throw a strike, walked

four or five guys. Some days I don’t know what happens. I just

literally cannot throw the baseball anywhere I want it to go. I

don’t know what happens, but we’ll figure it out.”

Mets manager Terry Collins said the outing was ”very

uncharacteristic” of Gee.

”I asked (pitching coach) Dan (Warthen) if he was trying to

work on something in particular, and he just said he’s having a

real tough time finding his release point,” Collins said. ”It’s

an easy fix.

There’s no injury issues or anything else. I’ve watched this guy

pitch for four years, and I’ve never seen that, so I’m not too

concerned about it.”

Tigers starter Doug Fister, meanwhile, enjoyed his best outing

of the spring after giving up a combined nine runs in seven innings

spread over four previous appearances. He allowed just one run on

three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over four innings

Thursday.

Anthony Recker drove in the Mets’ only run on a single to right

in the second inning.

”Overall, I was pleased,” Fister said. ”There’s still a lot

of room for improvement. My sinker was all over the place today, so

it’s definitely been one of my focuses, getting it contained. I’m

still working on it. I felt better with everything else today. I

felt the curveball and changeup were coming along, and I’m figuring

out some things with my cutter.

”I felt like I threw some good (sinkers) during the day but I

just didn’t have quite the command I wanted to for the most

part.”

Tigers finished with 11 hits.

Cabrera and Tuiasosopo both went 2 for 4 with two runs scored,

combining for five RBIs. It was Cabrera’s first spring training

game since leaving to play with Venezuela in the World Baseball

Classic. He homered in one at-bat for the Tigers in an exhibition

against Florida Southern on Wednesday.

Tuiasosopo, in camp on a minor league deal, originally wasn’t

scheduled to start the game but replaced Prince Fielder, who was

scratched because of a flat tire on the way to the game. Manager

Jim Leyland said he has been impressed with Tuiasosopo.

”He started off slow, but he’s picked it up and done pretty

well,”

Leyland said. ”He’s slung the ball pretty good recently, and

he’s a versatile guy. He can also play the outfield, play first and

third, and he’s a right-handed bat, so he’s kind of an interesting

guy.”

NOTES: Mets ace Johan Santana rested Thursday but will assess

whether he is ready to throw a bullpen session this weekend. He

hasn’t been on a mound in more than a week, and the Mets are

letting him dictate his schedule. . Collins said Daniel Murphy

(oblique strain) remains on track to play in a minor league game

this weekend.