Dad-to-be Chris Bassitt pitches Blue Jays over Mets 3-0
By Jerry Beach
NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Bassitt took the mound after a 91-minute rain delay, ready to rush back to Toronto as his wife went into labor, and shut down his former team on three hits to lead the Blue Jays over the New York Mets 3-0 on Friday.
Bassitt’s wife Jessica was due to give birth to their second child after daughter Landry.
The game was scheduled to start at 7:10 p.m. but began at 8:41 p.m. and didn’t end until shortly after 11 p.m. George Springer started the night by homering on Justin Verlander’s second pitch.
Bassitt (6-4) tied his season high with eight strikeouts and walked none, throwing 101 pitches. He began his big league career with Oakland, was traded to the Mets ahead of the 2022 season and left for a $63 million, three-year contract with the Blue Jays.
He had not been to Citi Field since losing the decisive Game 3 of an NL Wild Card series against San Diego last October.
The 34-year-old right-hander escaped a first-and-third, no-outs jam in the third, retiring Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil on popups around a called third strike to Francisco Lindor. That inning began a streak of 14 straight batters retired for Bassitt.
Tim Mayza relieved with two outs and none on the eighth, and struck out Nimmo when the batter was called for a pitch clock violation with a 2-2 count.
Jordan Romano finished the four-hitter for his 14th save in 15 chances, the Blue Jays’ major league-high ninth shutout. New York has been blanked eight times, matching the Mets’ total last year.
Springer hit his 54th leadoff homer, tying Alfonso Soriano for second behind Rickey Henderson’s 81. New York has been outscored 46-13 in the first inning this season.
Daulton Varsho added a two-run homer in the eighth off Jeff Brigham.
Verlander (2-3) gave up five hits and struck out out eight over six innings. He threw 117 pitches, the most by a big leaguer this season and the most for Verlander since 2019, before he had Tommy John surgery.
New York dropped to 16-1 when a starter lasts at least six innings.
Mets general manager Billy Eppler said infield prospect Ronny Mauricio — who is hitting .333 with seven homers and 33 RBIs for Triple-A Syracuse, began working out in left field Friday at Triple-A Syracuse. He is blocked at the major league level in the infield by Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor.
“We know Ronny can play on the left side of the infield, we know that we can put Ronny at second base in a major league game, too,” said Eppler, who added there’s no timetable for when Mauricio will play in the outfield for Syracuse. “But we also want to see how that athleticism can play in the outfield, because all the indications, all the measurables, tell us that he should be able to acclimate out there.”
LOU GEHRIG DAY
All 30 big league teams participated in Lou Gehrig Day — the Hall of Fame first baseman died on June 2, 1941, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. The Mets presented a check for $10,000 to Project ALS in honor of Sarah Langs, a writer and researcher with MLB.com who announced her ALS diagnosis last fall.
Langs’ boyfriend, Matt Williams, threw out a ceremonial first pitch to Mets infielder Eduardo Escobar before the trio posed for a picture.
Blue Jays: RHP Zach Pop (right hamstring strain) threw a perfect inning in his second rehab game with Single-A Dunedin. … INF Santiago Espinal (right hamstring) had the night off for Dunedin and is scheduled to play in his third rehab game Saturday. … C Danny Jansen (left groin strain) is hitting and running in Toronto.
Mets: C Omar Narváez (left calf strain) went 0 for 5 for Triple-A Syracuse in his fifth rehab game.