|Chris Bassitt pitching to Rowdey Tellez in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.
Chris Bassitt had possible his best start of the season on Tuesday night, as he threw eight shutout innings to lead the Mets to a 4-0 win over the Brewers at Citi Field. The Mets are now 41-22, and remain five games ahead of the Atlanta Braves, who beat Washington, 10-4, for their 13th straight victory.
Bassitt entered this one coming off a brutal outing in San Diego last Wednesday, in which he allowed seven runs (six earned) on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts. This was his fourth subpar outing in his prior five starts to this outing with Milwaukee, and dropped his record to 4-4 with a 4.35 ERA. His ERA was 2.34 after a solid outing against Seattle on May 14.
Bassitt started off this one with a purpose, as he struck out Christian Yelich on three pitches, then got Willy Adames to fly out to center field and Rowdey Tellez to ground out to shortstop.
The Mets gave him a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the the first in one of their trademark innings in which Pete Alonso had an RBI single, Jeff McNeil hustled for an RBI double, and Eduardo Escobar had a sacrifice fly. (click here to read about it in detail)
For Bassitt, the adage "nothing like working with a lead" was appropriate, as he retired Milwaukee in order in the second. In the third, Hunter Renfroe hit a weak fly ball to left-center field that Nimmo ran to his right and made a perfectly-timed leap to grab for the first out, and then after Peterson got a single, he was erased in a double play hit into by Tyrone Taylor.
Bassitt struck out Yelich again to open the fourth, and then Nimmo made another amazing catch, this time at the fence in front of the bullpen, robbing Adames of at least a double. Bassitt then struck out Tellez to end the frame.
Milwaukee finally got a break in the fifth, as Urias hit a grounder that went under Lindor's glove to open the inning, and then after Andrew McCutchen flew out to Nimmo, Omar Narvaez singled to give them two on and one out. Bassitt then got Renfroe to hit a sharp grounder to Escobar, start of a perfect 5-4-3 double play.
Through it all, Houser actually settled in, and kept the Mets off the board until the fifth when Pete Alonso got an RBI single to bring in Marte and make it 4-0. That was all for Hauser's night, as he hit his 96th pitch of the game. He allowed four runs, all earned, on eight hits and a walk, with three strikeouts.
In the sixth, Bassitt worked around a walk to Peterson and a one-out single by Yelich by getting this third double play of the night, from Adames, as he hit it to Guillorme to start the perfect 4-6-3 double play, which the Mets turned with a flair.
In the seventh, Bassitt got Tellez to ground to first, and then struck out Urias and McCutchen. In the eighth, he notched two more strikeouts, of Narvaez and Peterson, to finish his night.
Bassitt threw eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts to earn the win, improving his record to 5-4 and lowering his ERA nearly half a point to 3.89.