Right-hander Chris Bassitt, a key member of their team last time out athletics were in a playoff race is hoping to improve his current team’s chances of making the postseason this year if he and the Toronto Blue Jays meets his former club at his old Oakland home ground on Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays (76-62) won a game against the Texas Rangers (76-61) with a 6-5, 10-inning win over the A’s in the opening game of their three-game streak on Monday. Toronto will start Tuesday, half a game behind Rangers in the race for the final wildcard spot in the American League.
The win on Monday was that Blue Jays‘ Third in four games in a six-game western swing, but against the A’s (42-96), who have the fewest wins in the majors, it wasn’t as easy as they probably hoped.
With the momentum of a three-game winning streak, Oakland bounced back from a three-run deficit and leveled the game in the seventh inning before failing on the potentially game-winning run in third place in the ninth inning after pinch runner Esteury Ruiz stole two bases .
Runscoring doubles from Santiago Espinal and Spencer Horwitz flanked an RBI single from Cavan Biggio in the 10th, then gave just enough lead as the A’s fought back again, this time on Lawrence Butler’s second home run of the day, a two-barrel shot that brought Oakland to 6-5.
Horwitz, along with Ernie Clement and Davis Schneider, were recently identified by veteran pitcher Kevin Gausman as potential decision makers down the line Blue Jays Deal with the injuries to Matt Chapman, Bo Bichette, and Brandon Belt.
“They were a good boost of energy,” Gausman noted. “They come in and play with burning hair. They look forward to any opportunity that comes their way, and they’re getting a lot of those right now. It was so much fun watching these guys.”
Despite the loss, A’s manager Mark Kotsay said he was proud of his club’s performance, which followed Sunday’s 10-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels, closing a deficit and capping a three-game win.
“We played really good baseball,” Kotsay gushed. “The fight, the drive, the determination to come back again in game ten when we had a chance to win it in game ninth. Overall it was a good game.”
For the second year in a row, the A’s are starting with left-hander Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.92 ERA) as their scheduled starter. He was pushed back a day later when Luis Medina was removed from the injury list in time for Monday’s competition.
If he actually pitches this time, Waldichuk will have an opportunity to avenge a 12-1 loss in Toronto in June, in which he took six runs in 2 1/3 innings in relief. It was his only career game against them Blue Jays.
He will face Bassitt (13-7, 3.81), who was a 2021 All-Star with the A’s before joining the New York Mets in March 2022.
The 34-year-old had a 30-24 record in six seasons for Oakland in 100 games, including 88 starts. He is 1-0 with a 3.32 ERA in three career starts against the A’s, including eight innings for the Mets in a 9-2 win in his first home game in Oakland last September.
In a 5-4 loss to Oakland on June 23, he gave up four runs in five innings. While scoring four strikeouts and two walks, he did not receive a decision.
https://deadspin.com/chris-bassitt-looks-to-take-down-former-club-in-oakland-1850803264?utm_source=regular Chris Bassitt wants to defeat his former club in Oakland