Off the Record (OTR)

OTR Exclusive: New York Mets’ Dillon Gee

DillonGeeOTR recently had a great chat with New York Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee (@DillonGee35). We talked about a variety of topics including his first win last Sunday, pitching to Ryan Howard and his use of the changeup. So, let’s chat with Dillon:

Micah: How are you feeling? How is the shoulder feeling?

Gee: My shoulder feels good, normal as can be really. Definitely feels good to get that first win, but more importantly I’m just happy I could do my part and help out last Sunday.

Micah: You’ve had some injuries to the pitching staff and talent wise they seem to really need you as a No. 3. Do you feel added pressure because of the injuries, knowing that they really need you to come through?

Gee: As for the added pressure of being the No. 3, I mean, the numbers kind of get messed up during the season with off days, so whether you’re a No. 3 or a five, it really doesn’t matter where they have me in the rotation. I just want to help the team win games.

Micah: You used a little more of your changeup on Sunday. A little more than usual?

Gee: Uh, yeah. I definitely threw a lot more than I have in my other starts this year, but that was kind of the game plan. I’m a fastball/changeup guy. I don’t have the greatest slider in the world and the changeup has always been my best pitch. I kind of was getting away from it for some reason. Looking at the numbers I realized that I’m usually throwing 20-25% changeups almost and that’s a big pitch for me. I had to mix more of them in.

Micah: I don’t think people understand as much when you are watching on TV, but when you go to a game and sit first or third base side, you can really see just how hard you guys throw. And how little time batters have to react to what you are throwing. Because of that, it seems if you can really change your speeds and disguise it a bit, with such little time to react, you could go really far on that.

Gee: Yeah, I mean, that’s the whole idea of the changeup obviously. With that fastball/changeup, just throwing that timing off. Because big lead hitters, let’s be honest…they don’t have much time, but they are really good at that. Being really good at that split second of thinking. Anything you can do to upset their timing, because once they get timed and on pitches they can hit anything. It doesn’t matter if it’s 100 or 80 [mph]. They are just that good.

Micah: We have a lot of Philly readers, and no one is exactly thrilled with Ryan Howard right now. It looks like the book on him this season has been to pound him in and let him get himself swinging at those inside pitches. It seems like he’s constantly in these 0-2 counts. Is that the book on him right now?

Gee: I think you have to mix. You can’t just do one thing with Howard. He’s still a great hitter and if you keep doing the same thing to him, he’s eventually going to get you. I’ve given up multiple homers to that guy. He has such quick hands. He’ll get that pitch if you do it too much. I don’t know the exact book on him right now, but he’s a great hitter and you can’t come at him the same way twice normally.

Micah: Pitching at Citi Field, can you give me one thing you really like about that ballpark and one thing that you don’t?

Gee: The positive would have to be that it’s a big park. And negative? I don’t think I can think of anything negative about pitching there, I love it.

Micah: And finally, and maybe most importantly, who would win in a no-rules street fight – in their primes – between Bruce Lee and Mike Tyson?

Gee: No rules? I’m going to go Bruce Lee then. With the technique he’s got and not just brute strength.

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Follow Dillon on Twitter @DillonGee35 and Instagram @DillonGee35

You can also connect with him on his new Facebook page.

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