Sunday, July 22, 2007

Gee pitches well; Cyclones hit better

Last night the Cyclones pounded Tri_City, scoring 11 runs, seven in the sixth, and getting 18 hits. The batting averages of the starters, other than the pitcher, in yesterday's Cyclones lineup was impressive: .300, .299, .283, .245, .362, .263, .274, and .253. The lowest belongs to cleanup hitter and center fielder Raul Reyes, the highest average to left fielder Brandon Kawal.

Kawal, however, hasn't shown much power. In 46 at bats his only extra base hits were two doubles. Reyes, in 108 at bats, has a team-leading five homers, four doubles, and a triple. He also leads the team in total bases with 48. Unfortunately, Reyes has 41 strikeouts, so he's striking out every 2.25 at bats.

Brooklyn's starting pitcher, twenty one year old Dillon Gee, hasn't gotten a hit this season, however,he's not being paid to hit.

The Mets selected Gee in the 21st round of this year's MLB Draft out of University of Texas at Arlington where he didn't have an eye-opening record. He was 15-25 with a 5.16 ERA. But the Mavericks haven't had good teams.

In 2007 their overall record was 13-40 and, in conference games, were 4-26. Gee was 4-8 with a 4.67 ERA, walking 22 while striking out 96.

Last season Gee pitched more innings than any other Mavs pitcher — the second highest total was 77 —. However, in 111.2 innings he gave up 138 hits. That not a good innings/hits ratio, but then of the 15 pitchers on the team, only one had fewer hits than innings pitched (64/47),and he had a 6.49 ERA.

Part of the reason why Gee gave up almost 30 more hits than innings pitched could be because of the quality of the fielders. Maybe below-average defensive skills prevented them from getting to balls, thus what would have been outs on a better fielding team became hits.

Aside from the pitchers, the team made 92 errors during the 53-game season. One infielder made 13 and a first baseman made 12. The only way to draw any valid conclusions about the team's error total would be by comparing it with the average number of errors that other teams at the same level made last season.

In 2006 the Mavs were better overall, 29-36, and in the conference, 16-12. Gee was 6-9 with a 5.39 ERA.

In 2005 they were 26-32 but also had a winning conference record: 14-13. Gee was 5-8 with a 5.58 ERA.

Can a college pitcher with a losing record succeed in the Majors?

Gee seems to be pitching better for Brooklyn than he did for the Mavs. In last night's game, in 5.2 innings he gave up just three hits, no runs, and a walk while striking out five, lowering his ERA to 1.96 and raising his record to 2-0.

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