Bassitt fills in admirably on short notice
Righty throws five innings of one-run ball after being called up
OAKLAND -- Chris Bassitt found out at 1 a.m. he was starting for the A's on Tuesday. He woke up at 5:30 a.m. after minimal sleep, caught a 7:30 a.m. flight and arrived in Oakland around 1:30 p.m. By 7:05, the right-hander was on the mound pitching for the A's on three days' rest.
Bassitt, who was recalled from Triple-A Nashville to start for hospital-ridden Sonny Gray, tossed five innings of one-run ball in the A's 2-1 loss to the Rockies at the Coliseum on Tuesday.
"You're excited, so your adrenaline's going, so I didn't really get much sleep," Bassitt said. "I can sleep tonight pretty good, I'm sure."
Bassitt was pleased with the way he pitched overall and said it's the best he's felt in a long time.
He consistently reached 97 mph and did a good job getting ahead of hitters. Despite Bassitt's success, he said he wasn't happy with his offspeed pitches.
"It's kind of obvious my offspeed was not there at all tonight," he said.
The most glaring example came in the fifth inning, when Charlie Blackmon singled home Ben Paulsen for the only run off Bassitt.
Bassitt retired the first 10 Rockies he faced, but he struggled in the fourth and fifth before coming out of the game.
Paulsen and Michael McKenry singled to lead off the fifth, and Blackmon singled to right two batters later.
"It was a terrible curveball," Bassitt said. "I just didn't execute at all. It was a hanging curveball, which I don't know why honestly I threw it."
A's manager Bob Melvin said he was looking at 85 pitches for Bassitt from the get-go. The right-hander threw 84 pitches (58 strikes) and kept the A's in striking distance.
"I don't know that we could've asked for much more," Melvin said.
When Bassitt was with the A's in April and May, he walked nine batters in 10 2/3 innings as a reliever.
His stuff was never in question, but his accuracy was consistently a problem.
On Tuesday, though, Bassett pounded the strike zone and didn't walk any.
"That's been my M.O. for my whole career is don't beat yourself, and we'll take the chance of someone else trying to beat you," Bassitt said. "As long as I'm not walking guys I like my chances."
Bassitt said he's used to throwing side sessions on three days' rest, so he approached the start as a "really extended side."
Considering the short notice, Bassitt filled in admirably for one of the game's premier pitchers.
"He did a great job, from what I could tell from first," Stephen Vogt said. "He went right after guys, had good movement and threw the ball well."