By Joe Rini
NEW YORK, Jul 23 — Chris Bassitt pitched well, but the New York Mets fell to the San Diego Padres by a final score 2–1 at Citi Field on Saturday. Bassitt tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts in seven innings. Unfortunately, Manny Machado’s two-run home run blemished Bassitt’s stat line and provided the margin of victory.
Bassitt Pitched Well but…
Bassitt opened the game with five scoreless innings. He retired the first 12 batters he faced before hitting Nomar Mazara leading off the fifth inning. The Padres subsequently threatened after Eric Hosmer singled with one out to put runners on first and second. However, the game remained scoreless after a sliding catch in right field by Starling Marte, followed by a routine catch by Marte.
Padres starter Blake Snell wasn’t perfect, but he pitched five scoreless innings. Significantly, Snell held the Mets scoreless for seven with runners in scoring position. Pete Alonso singled and doubled off Snell, but the rest of the lineup was mostly quiet against the former Cy Young Award winner.
The Padres broke through in the sixth inning for the game’s first two runs. Jurickson Profar singled with one out, and after Bassitt struck out Jake Conenworth for the second out, Machado lined a two-run home run to left center, and the Padres led 2–0.
Woes on Offense
The Mets subsequently couldn’t score against the Padres’ middle relief core. Nabil Crismatt replaced Snell, and pitched a scoreless sixth inning while Adrian Morejon and Luis Garcia combined to pitch scoreless seventh and eighth innings. Down 2–0 in the ninth inning, the Mets finally scored against closer Taylor Rogers. With runners on first and second and two outs, J.D. Davis blooped a single into right field against a no-doubles defense, scoring Pete Alonso and cutting the Padres lead down to 2–1. However, Rogers crushed the hopes of a Mets comeback, retiring Tomas Nido on a pop-up to Cronenworth for his 28th save. The winning pitcher Snell raised his record to 2–5.
After the game, Buck Showalter answered a number of questions about the lack of offense. For instance, LWOB asked Showalter whether the decline in Brandon Nimmo’s OBA and batting average was related to his approach at the plate, the pitchers’ approach to him, or merely the ebb and flow of the season. Showalter expressed confidence in Nimmo and his work ethic. He also cautioned against taking a strictly analytical view of a hitter’s performance. “There are so many different variables that come into play for hitters,” Showalter said.
Showalter Praises Bassitt
Bassitt pitched well, but his record fell to 7–7 on the season. He tied a career-high with 11 strikeouts, and allowed four hits and didn’t walk anyone. Showalter praised Bassitt’s outing after the game. Considering he hadn’t pitched in ten days, he said Bassitt displayed good command of his curveball and slider. Showalter said, “He gave us a chance, a really good chance.” Unfortunately, two runs were too many on a night when the Mets mustered only one run. Their series finale against the Padres is set for Sunday evening at 7:08 PM Eastern.