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Mets can’t overcome Chris Bassitt’s ugly outing in loss to Cubs


Much of Chris Bassitt’s success this season has revolved around avoiding leadoff walks and keeping the ball in the park. 

Neither trend continued for the right-hander Monday against the Cubs, leading to one of his worst performances of the season and a 5-2 loss for the Mets to begin their homestand. 

After walking only four leadoff batters all season, Bassitt twice started innings with walks on this night, leading to runs. And after going a career-high eight straight starts without surrendering a homer, Bassitt watched two balls disappear behind the right-field fence at Citi Field. 

The Mets fell to 5-5 in this stretch against underwhelming opponents — the Nationals, Pirates and Marlins preceding the Cubs. The Mets began the night with a 1 ½-game lead on the Braves, who played later in San Francisco. 

Chris Bassitt reacts during the Mets' loss to the Cubs.
Chris Bassitt reacts during the Mets’ loss to the Cubs.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

Offensively, the Mets had chances. Twice they loaded the bases without scoring, on a night they finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. 

Bassitt’s outing was his second-shortest of the season. The right-hander lasted only 3 ²/₃ innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks, departing after 73 pitches. 

It was a rare misfire at home for Bassitt, who entered the night with a 2.10 ERA in his previous nine starts at Citi Field. 

Rafael Ortega homered in the second inning to give the Cubs their first run. The blast was the first allowed by Bassitt since July 23 against the Padres. 

Rafael Ortega celebrates after his home run in the second inning.
Rafael Ortega celebrates after his home run in the second inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Zach McKinstry rounds the bases after his two-run home run.
Zach McKinstry rounds the bases after his two-run home run.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

In the third, Bassitt walked Alfonso Rivas leading off the inning before surrendering a two-run homer to Zach McKinstry. It was only the third homer this season for McKinstry, who began the night batting .192. 

Ian Happ walked leading off the fourth against Bassitt and scored on Oretga’s RBI single. Rivas’ bloop RBI single with two outs extended the Cubs’ lead to 5-0 and ended Bassitt’s night. 

The Mets wasted an opportunity in the first inning against Javier Assad, loading the bases with two outs before Mark Canha struck out. 

Mark Canha reacts after striking out with the bases loaded to end the first inning.
Mark Canha reacts after striking out with the bases loaded to end the first inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post
Pete Alonso reacts after flying out to end the third inning.
Pete Alonso reacts after flying out to end the third inning.
Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

James McCann continued his recent surge with an RBI single in the fourth that brought the Mets within 5-1. The veteran catcher entered play 9-for-25 (.360) with a .448 on-base percentage over his previous nine games. 

Eduardo Escobar smashed a two-out triple in the sixth, but Tyler Naquin struck out for the third time. The sizzling Escobar owns a 10-game hitting streak, during which he is 18-for-36 (.500) with five homers. 

The Mets loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth, but Canha struck out before Escobar and Darin Ruf were retired in succession against left-hander Brandon Hughes. Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso singled against Mark Leiter Jr., in the inning before Daniel Vogelbach walked to load the bases. 

Francisco Lindor delivered a two-out homer in the ninth that gave the Mets their final run. The blast was Lindor’s 23rd this season. 

Tommy Hunter, Trevor May, Mychal Givens and Joely Rodriguez combined on 5 ²/₃ innings of scoreless relief for the Mets.



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