The return of Chris Bassitt was everything the Athletics had hoped for. Unfortunately for Oakland, the game would end in a 6-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday at the Coliseum -- concluding a four-game sweep at the hands of the AL West rival.
The A’s are on the brink of being eliminated from AL West contention and continue to fall farther and farther behind in the AL Wild Card race. When talking to reporters after the game, Bassitt noticed what his next outing might look like.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” Bassitt said. “I don’t know. I mean, obviously, we are so, so far behind the eight-ball right now in the standings that it’s, it’s tough to look at so I don’t -- I don’t know the plan for next time.”
Bassitt, despite a solid return in which he struck out four and allowed just one hit in three scoreless innings, said more than anything, he wanted to get the win.
“Obviously this, this last month has been terrible for us, but it is what it is -- I mean, I’m proud to be an Oakland A, I’m proud of this group even though we’ve absolutely sucked for the last month,” Bassitt said. “It is what it is. I mean, we haven’t done a good enough job to end games, but yeah, I’m still happy as hell to be a part of this group.”
Just five weeks ago, Bassitt underwent facial surgery after taking a line drive to the face off the bat of Chicago White Sox outfielder Brian Goodwin.
If it were up to Bassitt, surely he would have stayed in the game Thursday, but after not pitching since Aug. 17, 48 pitches was enough on this day. After the starter was pulled from the game, another bullpen meltdown by the A's contributed to the loss.
The next two A's relievers, James Kaprielian and Jake Diekman, combined to give up five hits and six earned runs after Bassitt walked off the mound for the day. Deolis Guerra, Andrew Chafin and Lou Trivino settled things down, but the A's offense couldn't overcome the deficit.
A’s manager Bob Melvin said this game was important. They couldn’t lose. With the defeat, where would it leave the team?
“Leads us to the next game,” Melvin said. “Obviously it’s an important one to try to, you know, turn back a team that went from two down -- start at the series -- to above us now and some other teams to pass us.”
The A’s now are four games behind the New York Yankees for the second AL Wild-Card spot, with the Toronto Blue Jays and Mariners between them and the Bronx Bombers. Oakland welcomes the Houston Astros to town Friday for the beginning of a three-game series.