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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Preview - Game 5 - Nationals at Mets - Dillon Gee looks to keep Mets perfect

Washington Nationals (2-2) at New York Mets (4-0) at  7:10PM (EST.)

Starting Pitching Probables -  Ross Detwiler (0-0) vs Dillon Gee (0-0)

Expectations may be very low for the New York Mets this season, but they're in position for their best start in 27 years.

Dillon Gee is familiar with impressive starts.

Gee will try to help the Mets keep their perfect record intact Tuesday night when they face the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.

After finishing fourth in the NL East at 77-85 last season and losing Jose Reyes to Miami via free agency, New York (4-0) was a popular pick to finish 2012 at the bottom of the division.

It's extremely early, but four wins in four games has made the Mets the biggest surprise in baseball so far.

Daniel Murphy's walkoff single completed a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Washington (2-2) in the opener of this three-game set Monday.

A win Tuesday would make New York 5-0 for the first time since 1985, and the four-game winning streak already matches the team's longest at home last season from April 21-24.

"Everybody is excited. We know that it' a long year, but we want to show our fans that maybe we are better than everyone expects us to be," manager Terry Collins said. "It's never about the effort with these guys."

Gee knows all about strong starts. The right-hander won his first seven decisions last year, compiling a 2.86 ERA in 13 games - 10 starts. He dropped off the rest of the way, going 6-6 with a 5.51 ERA in 17 starts.

Gee, though, finished the season 7-3 with a 3.17 ERA in 15 appearances at Citi Field, including a 1.35 ERA while going 1-0 in two starts versus the Nationals.

Overall, he's 3-0 with a 3.60 ERA against the division rivals.

David Wright is playing a major role in the Mets' surprising start after hitting a career-low .254 with 14 homers and 61 RBIs in 102 games last year. The third baseman is 7 for 12 with one homer and an RBI in each of the four contests.

With 729 career RBIs, Wright is four away from tying Darryl Strawberry's franchise record.

His RBI single in the third Monday started New York's rally from a three-run deficit, and he's 4 for 8 with two doubles and a homer off scheduled starter Ross Detwiler.

Murphy has a season-opening four-game hitting streak, collecting seven hits with three doubles and three RBIs.

The Nationals are trying to avoid a third consecutive loss, and some consistent production from Ryan Zimmerman would help. He had two hits Monday after getting one in 11 at-bats over the previous three contests.

Zimmerman has a .357 average with four RBIs in his last seven visits to Citi Field.

Detwiler takes the mound for the first time this season as he likely becomes a temporary member of the rotation until Chien-Ming Wang is back from a strained left hamstring.

Detwiler went 4-5 with a 3.00 ERA in 15 games - 10 starts - last year. He was 0-1 with an 8.31 ERA in two starts against the Mets.

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