By John Schweibacher
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Dillon Gee has been a pleasant surprise for the Mets since claiming a spot in the pitching rotation. By improving his record to 6-0 as the Mets blanked the Braves, 5-0, last Saturday night, Gee became the first rookie in Mets history to win his first six decisions in a season, all as a starting pitcher.

In 1972, rookie Jon Matlack began the season 6-0, but one of his six wins came in relief. Gee’s 6-0 start to the season is also the best by a Met since R.A. Dickey opened last year 6-0.

Here are the best starts by pitchers in Mets history:

•Terry Leach 10-0 1987
•Pat Mahomes 8-0 1999
•Dwight Gooden 8-0 1988
•Frank Viola 7-0 1990
•David Cone 7-0 1988
•Roger McDowell 7-0 1986
•Dillon Gee 6-0 2011
•R. A. Dickey 6-0 2010
•John Franco 6-0 1992
•Alejandro Pena 6-0 1991
•Ron Darling 6-0 1986
•Tom Gorman 6-0 1984
•Jon Matlack 6-0 1972
•Tom Seaver 6-0 1970
•Dick Selma 6-0 1968

Last Thursday, the Mets came back to beat the Pirates, 9-8, after trailing 7-0 in the third inning. It was the team’s biggest comeback win since June 30th, 2000, when they rallied from an 8-1 deficit to defeat the Atlanta Braves, 11-8, thanks to a 10-run 8th inning.

The Mets have posted only one other victory in their history in a game in which they allowed the first seven runs. On September 2nd, 1972 at the Astrodome, New York erased an 8-0 deficit with a seven-run eighth inning and a four-run ninth to defeat Houston, 11-8. The starting pitcher who the Mets got off the hook in that game was a rookie named Brent Strom, who was making just his fourth major league start for New York. Strom, who pitched for the Mets, Indians and Padres, later became a pitching coach for the Royals and Astros, where in 1996 he served in that role for Houston’s manager–Terry Collins.

Jason Isringhausen picked up the win for the Mets in that come-from-behind victory over the Pirates, his first of the season, and his first with the Mets in nearly 12 years. On June 8th, 1999, as a starter, Isringhausen pitched 5 and 2/3 innings, allowing two earned in a win against the Blue Jays. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it marked the longest gap between wins by a pitcher for the Mets in franchise history:

•Jason Isringhausen 11 years, 359 days, 1999-2011.

•Bob Miller 11 years, 213 days, 1962-1974.

•David Cone 10 years, 245 days, 1992-2003.

•Tom Seaver 5 years, 308 days, 1977-1983.

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the 1981 work-stoppage which cancelled about one-third of the major league baseball season that year.

The Mets final game before the strike came on June 11th, 1981 at Shea Stadium, a 5-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Tom Seaver went the distance for the win for the Reds defeating Pat Zachry. Ray Searage, who is now the pitching coach with the Pittsburgh Pirates, made his major league debut that night for the Mets, pitching two scoreless innings in relief.

Searage, like the rest of the baseball world, would have to wait two months before making his next appearance, August 10th when the season resumed.

Future New York Mets born during the 1981 MLB Strike:

•Jeremy Reed 6/15/81
•Angel Pagan 6/18/81
•Ben Johnson 7/2/81
•Blaine Boyer 6/15/81

Other future Major Leaguers born during the 1981 MLB Strike:

•Brandon Phillips 6/28/81
•Hong-Chih Kuo 7/23/81
•Kevin Kouzmanoff 7/25/81
•Carl Crawford 8/5/81

The Mets face the Brewers and Pirates on the road this week. Miller Park has been kind to the visiting Mets since it opened in 2001, with New York posting its best road record there among any current home of a National League opponent:

Best Mets Road Records By Park:

•Progressive Field-Cleveland 5-1 .833
•RFK Stadium-Washington 21-7 .750
•Angels Stadium-Anaheim 4-2 .667
•Rangers Ballpark-Arlington 4-2 .667
•Oriole Park Camden Yards-Baltimore 11-6 .647 •Miller Park-Milwaukee 17-13 .567

The Mets have not fared as well at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. In its 10 season history, New York has actually posted a lower won-loss percentage against the Pirates there than they did in the 31 seasons of Three Rivers Stadium:

•PNC Park 15-16 .484
•Three Rivers Stadium 115-121 .487
•Forbes Field 24-50 .324

Schwei’s Runs, Hits and Errors:

Runs: R.A. Dickey. Allows one run in eight innings for 1st Citi Field win of 2011 Sunday night, 6-4, over Atlanta. Dickey has gone at least five innings in 35 of his 37 starts for the Mets.

Hits: Jose Reyes. Three-run triple in the Mets’ victory over the Braves on Saturday night was Reyes’ 10th triple of the season in his 55th game.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last major-leaguer to reach double-digits in triples in so few games from the start of a season was Deion Sanders, who needed just 43 games to amass 10 triples in 1992 for Atlanta (he finished that season with 14 triples in 97 games played).

Errors: The Mets blew a 3-1 eighth-inning lead in their 6-3 loss to the Braves this past Friday night. New York has now blown a lead in the seventh inning or later in each of its last six home losses, becoming the first team in major-league history to do that.

Will Gee be the Mets’ next big thing? Sound off in the comments below…

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