Chris Bassitt stood on the mound in the eighth inning as his teammates patted him on the back. Manager John Schneider took the ball and offered the only words necessary. “Go be a dad.”
Taking the mound after a 91-minute rain delay and ready to rush back to Toronto when his wife went into labor, Bassitt shut out his former team with three hits to lead the Blue Jays to a 3-0 win over the New York Mets on Friday.
Bassitt’s wife, Jessica, was due to give birth to their second child, after daughter Landry. A private jet was ready to take Bassit home as soon as he left the game and arrived at one of New York’s smaller airports.
What was supposed to start at 7:10pm was pushed back by the storm and the first pitch was finally thrown at 8:41pm.
Schneider credited team travel director Mike Shaw for delaying the plane’s departure time. There was no intention of scratching Basit.
“He was pacing back and forth in the clubhouse, kind of just locked in like a veteran pitcher does,” Schneider said.
Bassitt (6-4) set his season high with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings and walked none while throwing 101 pitches. He stayed in the field until Tim Maiza hit Brandon Nimmo to end the eighth inning, but left Citi Field with 23:12 left in the game.
“There’s a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, just being able to start the game and start in time for him to get home to his wife,” said Dolton Warshaw, who hit a two-run homer. Ninth in descent from Jeff Brigham. “It was a pretty great experience for her to be able to do that and then to have the opportunity to try having a second child.”
Bassitt, traded from Oakland to the Mets before the 2022 season, went 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA before signing a three-year, $63 million contract with the Blue Jays. He hadn’t been to Citi Field since losing the decisive Game 3 of the NL Wild Card series against San Diego last October.
Jordan Romano finished with four hits for his 14th save in 15 chances, the Blue Jays’ ninth in the majors. New York has been walked eight times, matching the Mets’ total last year.
Springer drove in Verlander’s second pitch for his game-leading 54th homer, tying Alfonso Soriano for second behind Rickey Henderson’s 81.
New York lost the first game of the season 46-13.
Verlander (2-3) gave up five hits and struck out eight over six innings. He threw 117 pitches, the most in the big leagues this season and the most for Verlander since 2019, before Tommy John surgery.
“Thankful for the opportunity and glad I was able to come through,” Verlander said.
Lou Gehrig Day
Varshaw, whose mother-in-law died of ALS in 2018, said it was emotional to celebrate the third annual Lou Gehrig Day at home. The Hall of Fame first baseman died of ALS (now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) on June 2, 1941.
“To be able to have a special moment, I know he’s probably watching over me,” Warshaw said.
Before the game, the Mets presented a $10,000 check to Project ALS in honor of MLB.com writer and researcher Sarah Langs, who announced her ALS diagnosis last fall.
Langs’ friend, Matt Williams, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Mets outfielder Eduardo Escobar before the trio posed for a photo.
Before Saturday’s game, the Mets will induct former players Howard Johnson and Al Leiter, as well as broadcasters Gary Cohen and Howie Rose, into their Hall of Fame. Longtime media relations executive Jay Horwitz will also be honored before Blue Jays RHP Jose Berrios (5-4, 3.86 ERA) faces Mets RHP Taylor Magill (5-3, 4.67 ERA).
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