Chris Bassitt shut down his former teammates as the Toronto Blue Jays topped the New York Mets 3-0 at Citi Field on Friday. The postgame featured a fireworks show but the Mets barely managed a fizzle batting against Bassitt. The Mets elected not to re-sign and pay Bassitt in the offseason and he made them pay tonight. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, scattered three hits, struck out eight batters, and raised his record to 6-4. Additionally, Bassitt pitched this game knowing he’d immediately be boarding a plane to Toronto to be with his wife who is in labor. Suffice to say, it wasn’t a routine day at the office for Bassitt.
Chris Bassitt brought his A-game back to New York. pic.twitter.com/hO52PKgryD
— MLB (@MLB) June 3, 2023
Bassitt Shuts Down Mets
Rain delayed the start of the game by ninety minutes, but the Blue Jays wasted no time scoring in the first inning. George Springer launched Justin Verlander’s second pitch of the game 422 feet into the center field night and the Blue Jays led 1-0. This early lead proved to be insurmountable as Bassitt shut down the Mets.
The Mets squandered a scoring opportunity in their half of the third inning. After Mark Canha singled and stole second base, Francisco Alvarez reached on an infield error by Vladimir Guerrero. However, with runners on the corners and no outs, Bassitt quickly retired the top of the Mets lineup on two harmless pop-ups that sandwiched a strikeout.
Verlander held the Blue Jays scoreless after the leadoff home run as he gutted his way through six innings. Verlander worked hard to keep the game at 1-0 in the sixth inning. Bo Bichette slammed a single off Verlander’s leg and a walk to Guerrero put runners on first and second with no outs. Verlander battled back to strike out the next two batters but Whit Merrifield lined a single to deep shortstop to load the bases. With his pitch odometer rising and gas tank lowering, Verlander struck out Daulton Varsho with his 117th pitch of the night.
1-0 Seemed Like 10-0
Bassitt shut down the Mets as he retired 14 batters in a row before Starling Marte singled with two outs in the seventh inning. Marte subsequently stole second base but Mark Vientos grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Bassitt left the game with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning as Tim Mayza retired Brandon Nimmo to end the inning.
The Blue Jays solidified the game in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run homer by Varsho. With one out, Merrifield lined a single to left field before Varsho hammered a 3-0 cutter from Jeff Brigham into the upper deck in right field increasing the Blue Jays lead to 3-0. Jordan Romano retired the Mets in the ninth inning to pick up his 14th save of the season.
LWOB Question to Billy Eppler
Before Bassit shut down the Mets, General Manager Billy Eppler met with the press in the Mets dugout. LWOB asked Eppler about the progress of building starting pitching depth in the organization. Eppler mentioned meeting with player development leadership earlier on Friday to talk about pitching specifically. He said they’re “on the verge of some player movement” because some starters in the minors have pitched well. He added, “The enhancements we made in our pitching program are starting to take shape from a systems and process standpoint,” allowing the organization to do more “more objective-aided development in our system.” Eppler said, “Things are trending in a good direction there.”
Main photo credits:
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Bassitt, George Springer, Justin Verlander, Mark Canha, Francisco Alvarez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, Whit Merrifield, Daulton Varsho, Starling Marte, Mark Vientos, Tim Mayza, Brandon Nimmo, Jeff Brigham, Jordan Romano