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.