After Gee misses history, Mets squander lead

After Gee misses history, Mets squander lead

NEW YORK -- Dillon Gee's emphatic fist pump, the standing ovation and the near-historic pitching performance all faded in significance. Three hits and two runs in the ninth inning turned a memorable game for the Mets into a disappointing night as the win slipped away.

Gee pitched six no-hit innings before Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman ended it with a single leading off the seventh, but Gee was brilliant nonetheless. Gee allowed only two hits over seven scoreless frames, with three walks and three strikeouts.

But the Braves scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning off closer Bobby Parnell, and his Braves counterpart Craig Kimbrel earned the save in the Mets' 2-1 loss at Citi Field on Monday.

"It was tough. Gee threw so well," Mets catcher John Buck said. "It was a tough one."

The Braves' hitters were aggressive all night against Gee, chasing sliders and sinkers early in the counts. Gee said nothing he threw was "outstanding," but he continued to keep Atlanta off-balance by changing speeds and hitting his spots.

"They were really aggressive tonight, swinging early," Gee said. "They happened to be hitting balls at guys, obviously some really good defensive plays also."

But Parnell couldn't uphold Gee's dominance.

Braves catcher Brian McCann and left fielder Evan Gattis hit back-to-back singles to begin the top of the ninth inning. Atlanta second baseman Dan Uggla grounded into a fielder's choice, with Mets third baseman David Wright making the out at third.

That's where the game began to get away from the Mets.

Parnell and Buck got crossed up with Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson at the plate. A passed ball allowed Gattis to move to third and Uggla to second. Johnson grounded out to short, allowing Gattis to score.

Then pinch-hitter Reed Johnson came through with a clutch hit, a single to center field that allowed Uggla to score the go-ahead run.

"It feels great, especially coming off the bench," Reed Johnson said. "To be able to help impact a game like that means a lot. It's tough in that situation against a closer and it's even tougher when you're in a pinch-hit situation. It really feels pretty good."

In a short amount of time, a great outing for Gee that would've given him his eighth win turned into a no-decision.

The Braves hit the ball hard several times through the first six innings. But each time they did, they found the gloves of Mets defenders, even in the most unlikely of plays.

Gee walked Braves center fielder Jason Heyward with two outs in the sixth inning. The next batter, Justin Upton, hit a ground ball toward the hole between shortstop and third base that looked destined for left field.

But Mets shortstop Omar Quintanilla ranged to his right, backhanded the ball and fired across the diamond and his throw beat Upton to first base. As soon as the out was made, the crowd at Citi Field erupted.

But the next hitter to face Gee was Freeman to open the seventh, and he connected for a single to center field for the Braves' first hit.

"He's a good hitter, you have to give him credit," Gee said. "I tried to pitch him tough all night. Sometimes those guys are going to get hits. That's the way it goes."

The crowd gave Gee a standing ovation after his six no-hit innings.

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.