Chris Bassitt

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Christopher Michael Bassitt

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Chris Bassitt made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox on August 30, 2014, in the second game of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers. He was facing another pitcher making his debut, Kyle Ryan, and was badly outpitched. Bassitt gave up 5 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings to be charged with the 8-4 loss while Ryan kept the Pale Hose off the scoreboard for 6 frames and got the win. Chris made 6 appearances for the White Sox, including 5 starts, going 1-1, 3.94. He had been injured for a good part of the season, only making 9 appearances in the minors, including 3 on a rehabilitation assignment with the AZL White Sox. With the Double A Birmingham Barons, he was 3-1, 1.56 prior to his call up.

On December 9, 2014, he was one of four players traded to the Oakland Athletics for pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa. He began the 2015 season with the Triple A Nashville Sounds, getting the call to the majors on April 23rd. In 18 games (13 starts), he posted a respectable 3.56 ERA and 30/64 BB/K ratio despite a rough 1-6 record. He was felled by Tommy John surgery in the middle of 2016, making but 16 appearances from 2016 to 2018. He started the 2019 season on the injured list with a leg injury before crafting his finest big league work to date. In 28 games (25 starts), Bassitt had a 3.81 ERA and 1.19 WHIP, striking out 141 batters in 144 innings to the tune of a 10-5 record. He then followed that with another great year in 2020, even though it was abbreviated by the coronavirus pandemic. He was the American League Pitcher of the Month in September, when he went 3-0, 0.34 in 4 starts and finished the year at 5-2, 2.29 in 11 games, posting a 55/17 K/W ratio in 63 innings. He made a couple of starts in the postseason, winning Game 2 of the Wild Card Series against the Chicago White Sox when he gave up 1 run in 7 innings, and then having a no-decision in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Houston Astros when he allowed 3 runs in 4 innings, including a pair of homers.

He started the 2021 season where he had left off the year before. On May 27th, he pitched his first career complete game and shutout in defeating the Los Angeles Angels, 5-0, to improve his record to 5-2, matching his total from the previous, abbreviated, season. It also improved his record to 20-9 since the start of 2019. He was named an All-Star for the first time. On August 17th, in the 2nd inning of a start against the Chicago White Sox, he was hit in the face by a line drive off the bat of Brian Goodwin and had to be carted off the field. He was 12-3, 3.06 entering the game, but ended up being charged with the loss that day. While the pictures were scary, he was released from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL the next day, although he was diagnosed with a fracture in his left cheek that would require surgery in the coming days, making his return date uncertain. He also had to receive stitches for lacerations, but escaped without an eye injury or a concussion. He was immediately placed on the injured list. The original outlook was that there was no way Bassitt would make it back to the mound before the end of the season, but he beat the odds and was reactivated on September 23rd, with the A's in a very tough five-team brawl for the two AL wild card spots. The A's had struggled without their ace, playing below .500, and it is likely that Bassitt would have taken things more easy had the season not been on the line. He pitched 3 scoreless innings in his return. He made two more starts, pitching a total of 6 1/3 innings and allowing just 1 run. He finished the year at 12-4, 3.15 with 159 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings; he also led the American League in winning percentage.

Just after the settlement of the 2021-2022 lockout, on March 12, 2022, he was traded to the New York Mets in return for two minor leaguers, pitchers J.T. Ginn and Adam Oller. He had an excellent season for the Mets, going 15-9, 3.42 in 30 starts, while striking out 167 batters in 181 2/3 innings. However, he lost the decisive Game 3 of the Wild Card Series against the San Diego Padres on October 9th when he gave up 3 runs in 4 innings while three Padres pitchers, led by Joe Musgrove, combined to pitch a one-hit shutout. He became a free agent after the season, one of three members of the starting rotation that gave the Mets a 101-win season to leave that winter, alongside Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker. All three ended up with very lucrative contracts, with Chris signing with the Toronto Blue Jays on December 12th on a three-year deal worth $63 million.

On May 12, 2023, he pitched a complete game two-hit shutout to beat the Atlanta Braves, 3-0. It was the first nine-inning complete game by a Blue Jays pitcher since 2017, when Marcus Stroman had pulled the trick, and the second of Bassitt's career. It came on the heels of another great start, when he had pitched 7 scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 4-0 win on May 5th. The last nine-inning shutout by a Jays pitcher had been thrown by Mark Buehrle back on June 3, 2015 - a gap of eight years and 1,176 games - a major league record. The 889 games since Stroman's complete game were also a record - there had been two complete games in the interim, but one was a rain-shortened outing by Ryan Feierabend, and the other a seven-inning game by Hyun-jin Ryu as part of a doubleheader in 2021, when twinbills consisted of two seven-inning games because of the pandemic. In his return to CitiField on June 2nd, he pitched another gem with 7 2/3 scoreless innings in a 3-0 win over the Mets; he then jumped on a private plane back to Toronto, ON to be by his wife Jessica's side for the birth of their second child. His son Colson was born two days later, moments after the Jays completed a three-game sweep of the Mets. In his final start of the season, at home against the New York Yankees on September 28th, he nailed down an important 6-0 win with the Jays trying to clinch a spot in the postseason, and also reached two important personal milestones. The win was his 16th, a new personal best, and he insisted on pitching into the 8th inning in order to reach 200 for the season for the first time. He was removed from the game immediately after striking out Aaron Judge for the second out, his 12th K of the game, having reached the total exactly. He explained after the game that it had been a personal goal of his for long time.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (2021)
  • AL Wins Leader (2023)
  • AL Winning Percentage Leader (2021)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (2022 & 2023)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (2023)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets land All-Star righty Bassitt from A's",, March 12, 2022. [1]
  • Martín Gallegos: "Bassitt back Thursday: 'Kind of miraculous': All-Star RHP to be activated for return from Aug. 17 facial fracture",, September 21, 2021. [2]
  • Michael Hoad: "Blue Jays pitcher Bassitt emotional after reaching 200-inning mark: 'It's been my only goal forever' Blue Jays starter Chris Bassitt scratched off one of the items on his bucket list on Thursday.", Yahoo! Sports, September 28, 2023. [3]
  • Keegan Matheson: "Bassitt, Blue Jays agree to 3-year deal",, December 12, 2022. [4]
  • Keegan Matheson: "Bassitt baffles Braves with 2nd career shutout: Right-hander tosses Blue Jays' first nine-inning SHO since Buehrle nearly eight years ago",, May 12, 2023. [5]
  • Matthew Ritchie: "Bassitt pitches gem, rushes home for birth of 2nd child",, June 3, 2023. [6]
  • Jared Wyllys: "Bassitt conscious after liner strikes face: Right-hander recovering in local hospital, per Melvin",, August 18, 2021. [7]

Related Sites[edit]