Chris Bassitt has been everything the Mets envisioned, perhaps more, since his acquisition from the Athletics at the start of spring training.
In his first career start at Citi Field, the 2021 All-Star continued to excel in a rotation thriving without injured ace Jacob deGrom. Bassitt stifled the Diamondbacks over six breezy innings of one-run ball Friday in the Mets’ 10-3 win in their home opener.
Bassitt allowed one run on two hits, with two walks and six strikeouts over 98 pitches, one start after tossing six shutout innings in his team debut last Saturday in Washington.
“Yeah, it’s awesome,” Bassitt said. “A lot more obstacles to work through. But you always want to win the first one.”
Similar to complaints by Yankees ace Gerrit Cole about brief delays at their home opener in The Bronx last week, the 33-year-old Bassitt (2-0, 0.75 ERA) mentioned the pregame festivities throwing him off slightly in the first inning.
“The timing is never right. You’re supposed to be starting at 1:10, and that never happens,” he said. “So it’s more so just how do you gauge everything? But it is what it is, and you know it going in.”
Mets manager Buck Showalter believed Bassitt also might have looked “too strong” at the start, perhaps from an extra day of rest between starts. But following a one-out double by Ketel Marte and a subsequent walk to David Peralta in the opening frame, Bassitt struck out cleanup hitter Christian Walker before retiring Pavin Smith on a pop-up to squelch the threat.
Bassitt, who finished last season with a 12-4 mark and a 3.15 ERA over 27 starts for the A’s, didn’t allow another hit until Daulton Varsho homered to right leading off the sixth. The Ohio native departed that completed inning to a standing ovation from the fans behind the Mets’ dugout.
“I try to tune it out, no matter what. I feel like the emotions of all that you just try to stay even-keeled, basically,” Bassitt said about the crowd reaction. “I try to make it a normal day and not make the moment bigger than it should be.”
With Carlos Carrasco slated to pitch Saturday, the Mets’ starting staff — also featuring imported future Hall of Famer Max Scherzer — sports a league-best 1.32 ERA through a 6-2 start with deGrom opening the season on the injured list due to a shoulder issue.