MIAMI - Terry Collins leaned back in his chair and rooted for anarchy.
He had grown tired of speculation that veteran Dillon Gee took the mound Monday night with his rotation spot on the line. He hoped that a standout performance might put an end to those questions.
"I hope he throws a suckin' no-hitter," Collins said before watching the madness unfold in a 3-1 victory over the Marlins.
Though it wasn't a no-no, Collins got the chaos he wanted.
Marlins Park has been a haven for marathons between these two NL East rivals. But in a tidy 1 hour, 58 minutes, the Mets won a game as quickly as they had seemingly lost it. In the ninth, slumping Daniel Murphy bashed a three-run homer to erase a 1-0 deficit, then made a sparkling defensive play behind closer Jeurys Familia to help finish it off.
"It's Dan's night," Collins said. "He's Murphylicious."
The nickname-inspiring heroics came after Gee dueled with Marlins righthander Jarred Cosart, taking a shutout into the eighth inning, only to watch the night unravel.
Gee had toed the rubber for that inning well before 9 p.m., not even late enough for the Cuban sandwiches in the concessions stands to go cold. He had thrown only 59 pitches and surrendered just three hits against an aggressive Marlins lineup,
Then, Martin Prado's RBI single scored Reid Brignac, putting an end to Gee's joy ride.
But an inning later, Gee was screaming out his lungs in the dugout, all as Murphy rounded the bases on his clutch homer against closer Steve Cishek.
"The whole last inning itself goes to show what a team game we're playing right now," said Murphy, who has been making swing adjustments after entering play hitting .169.
The Mets improved to 15-5, maintaining the best record in baseball. Carlos Torres (1-0) earned the win in relief and Familia recorded his ninth save.
Gee might have gained the biggest victory of all. Perhaps he has finally quelled speculation about his future in the rotation.
"They were putting it in play on my terms," said Gee, who generated 15 ground-ball outs and allowed one run and six hits in 72/3 innings.
Gee's performance seemed to solidify what the Mets insist is a solid hold on his rotation spot, even with Rafael Montero making a spot start Tuesday night.
With Matt Harvey facing an innings limit, the Mets intend to use spot starters to space out the rest of their starters. For now, Montero has been designated for those starts.
But later in the season, pitching prospects Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz will factor into the mix. According to a team insider, the Mets wouldn't hesitate to break in either prospect as a spot starter, similar to the situation Montero faces now.
All that talent on the doorstep makes Gee the most vulnerable to be eventually supplanted. But barring a drastic development, Montero's outing Tuesday night will be a cameo, with the righthander most likely sent back to the minors.
Gee seemingly didn't leave anything to chance.
"There's been a lot of talk and I feel terrible for him," Collins said. "But I think he went out there tonight and showed everybody that he can do what he's done in the past."