New Mets starter Chris Bassitt shuts out Marlins

JUPITER, Fla. — After going through a minor league intra-squad matchup last week, Chris Bassitt mostly made the Marlins look like minor leaguers on Tuesday night.

In his Grapefruit League debut, the Mets’ projected No. 3 starter threw 4 ²/₃ shutout innings while allowing four hits and no walks in a 10-0 win at Roger Dean Stadium.

The March 12 acquisition of the A’s threw 69 pitches (48 strikes) and should be ready, before a tune-up, for about six innings of work as he is expected to trail Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer in the Mets’ opening series in Washington.

“He’s in a good position right now, knock on wood,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s got a lot of different looks, a lot of same-tone shapes, and he’s got a lot of imagination as a pitcher.”

Bassitt allowed two hits in his first three innings, then got into trouble in the fourth after a long break when the Mets scored four runs.

Chris Bassit
Corey Sipkins

The Marlins put the runners up for second and third with one out, but Bassitt struck out Lorenzo Quintana and forced Willians Astudillo out.

In stressful situations, “Don’t throw hard, just run,” Bassitt said. “I think Greg Maddux said that, and it freed me up a lot.”

Bassitt, who operates with more trickery than the Mets’ top two aces, operated a good slider and also threw two different fastballs, a slider, a curveball, a change and a cutter – the cutter was his only complaint of the exit.

“I love his mentality,” receiver James McCann said. “I love his approach to the game, and obviously what you know is good.”

McCann caught three innings in his first game since March 20 and felt good coming back from a stiff back.

The catcher went 1 for 3 with a double – which he was glad he dropped – and two strikeouts. He threw second and blocked balls in the dirt, which were other acts he wanted to check off.

Next on the list to be ready for Opening Day is to make sure he catches every pitcher, play back-to-back days and compile more bats.

“That’s the challenge for next week,” said McCann, who got five games at bat. “I will be able to go into the backfield and take several bats.”

The Mets claimed right-hander Yoan López from Marlins waivers and opted for Triple-A Syracuse. They placed southpaw Joey Lucchesi, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, on the 60-day injured list as a matching move.

Lopez had been claimed and then quickly designated for an assignment by Miami, which was trying to get him to pass waivers. The 29-year-old played 13 games last season for the Diamondbacks and has a 4.25 ERA in four seasons.

New York Post

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