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Jays’ Chris Bassitt beats Mets while his wife is in labor, then flies home

Jays’ Chris Bassitt beats Mets while his wife is in labor, then flies home

Chris Bassitt was on the mound in the eighth inning as teammates patted him on the back. Manager John Schneider took the ball and offered the only words it took: “Go be a Dad.”

Bassitt took the mound after a 91-minute rain delay and ready to rush back to Toronto as his wife went into labor.

“I’m sure there’s a million things going through his head,” Schneider said. “It was really impressive to keep everything under control.”

Bassitt’s wife Jessica would give birth to their second child after daughter Landry. A private jet was ready to take Bassitt home as soon as he got out of the game and arrived at one of the smaller airports in the New York area.

What should have been a 7:10 pm start was postponed by a storm and the first pitch was finally thrown at 8:41 pm.

Schneider credited director of team travel Mike Shaw for delaying the plane’s departure time. Scratching Bassitt was not considered.

“He was pacing back and forth in the clubhouse, kind of staying cooped up like a veteran pitcher does,” Schneider said.

Bassitt (6-4) tied his season with eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings and walked none, while throwing 101 pitches. He remained in the dugout until Tim Mayza struckout Brandon Nimmo to end the eighth inning, but left Citi Field before the game ended at 11:12 PM.

“There’s a lot of stress, a lot of pressure just to get that game going and start on time so he can go home for his wife,” said Daulton Varsho, who hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Jeff Brigham. “It was a pretty cool experience for him to be able to do that and then experience what it’s like to have his second child.”

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Traded from Oakland to the Mets ahead of the 2022 season, Bassitt went 15-9 with a 3.42 ERA and then signed a three-year, $63 million contract with the Blue Jays. He hadn’t been to Citi Field since losing the deciding 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 pop-ups around a called third strike to Francisco Lindor. That inning began with a series of 14 batters being retired for Bassitt.

Jordan Romano completed the four-hitter for his 14th save in 15 chances, the Blue Jays’ ninth major league-high shutout. New York has been knocked out eight times, matching the Mets’ total last year.

Springer homered on Verlander’s second pitch for his 54th leadoff homer, tying Alfonso Soriano for second behind Rickey Henderson’s 81.

New York was beaten 46-13 in the first inning this season.

Verlander (2-3) gave up five hits and struckout eight in six innings. He threw 117 pitches, the most by a big leaguer this season and the most for Verlander since 2019, before facing Tommy John.

“Grateful for the opportunity and glad I was able to get through,” said Verlander.

OFFENCE

Nimmo struckout in the eighth when plate umpire Nic Lentz called a pitchclock violation with a 2-2 strike.

“Seems tacky,” Nimmo said. “I was 8 seconds into the box. Usually we get a bit more time on foul balls – maybe that’s been wrong, but that’s what we usually do. And he was on the mound – sorry, not on the mound, but on the rubber on 9 seconds, and I was in the penalty box at 8 seconds, but since I wasn’t looking at the pitcher, I got it. So it just seems jittery. You slow down the game even more by coming out and yelling that then just let the field go.”

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LOU GEHRIG DAY

Varsho, whose mother-in-law died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in 2018, said it was emotional to homer on the third annual Lou Gehrig Day. The Hall of Fame first baseman died on June 2, 1941 of ALS – now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

“To be able to have a special moment — I know she’s probably watching over me,” Varsho said.

Prior to the game, the Mets presented a $10,000 check to Project ALS in honor of Sarah Langs, a writer and researcher at MLB.com who announced her ALS diagnosis last fall.

Langs’ friend, Matt Williams, threw a ceremonial first pitch to Mets infielder Eduardo Escobar before the trio posed for a photo.

TRAINERS ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Zach Pop (stretched right hamstring) pitched a perfect inning in his second rehab game with Single-A Dunedin.

Mets: C Omar Narváez (left calf strain) went 0 for 5 for Triple-A Syracuse in his fifth rehab game. Eppler said Narváez is on track to return from the 60-day injured list next week. … FROM Tim Locastro (torn UCL in right thumb) hopes to be back in July.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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  • June 3, 2023