Athletics

A's Chris Bassitt shows White Sox letting him go was 'a mistake'

bassittrecapusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's Chris Bassitt shows White Sox letting him go was 'a mistake'

It wasn't technically a "redemption game." But that's what A's Chris Bassitt starter got -- redemption.

"Every time I pitch against these guys I kind of want to prove to them that they made a mistake," Bassit said following the A's 2-0 win over the White Sox, his former team, on Sunday. 

Bassitt finished his Sunday outing with seven strikeouts in as many innings, with just two walks, two hits and zero runs allowed.

He even was greeted with a Gatorade shower by teammates Mike Fiers and Homer Bailey following the game as he gave an interview on the A's broadcast.

Bassitt said that he would be lying if he didn't think about the fact that the White Sox traded him to Oakland back in 2016 when he was back on the south side of the Windy City dominating his former team.

The 30-year-old was drafted by the White Sox in the 16th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He made his debut on the big league stage in 2014. Across six games in 2014 with the Sox, he boasted a 3.94 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 29.2 frames. 

The A's got Bassitt in the transaction that brought along Josh Phegley, Rangel Ravelo and Marcus Semien. Jeff Samardzija and Michael Ynoa went to the White Sox.

The typical question of "Who won the trade?" is one that's always asked, regardless of who's involved. But Bassitt didn't show that with words -- he showed it with actions.

[RELATED: Scout provides not-so-typical reports on A's]

This season, he's made a name for himself as one of the more reliable pitchers on the A's staff. On the season he sports a sturdy 3.80 ERA and a solid 1.20 WHIP.

Gatorade shower earned, indeed. 

Is nightmare eighth one bad day for A's bullpen or cause for concern?

Is nightmare eighth one bad day for A's bullpen or cause for concern?

OAKLAND -- After allowing just six runs in the first six games of the homestand, the A's bullpen imploded Saturday night in a 10-5 loss to the rival Giants.

Oakland's pen surrendered eight runs in a nightmare eighth inning, the most the A's have given up in a single inning all season long, as they watched a 4-2 lead turn into a 10-4 deficit.

After Jake Diekman retired the first batter in the eighth, Yusmeiro Petit, A.J. Puk, and Lou Trivino combined to allow seven straight batters to reach base on six hits and a walk.

"We just couldn't get an out," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "Yusi (Petit) is usually really reliable for us -- not that they hit really hard balls off him -- but three straight hits, which is a little abnormal with him. ... Lou has been pitching really well. Give them credit. They went the other way. They didn't try to do too much. They shot the ball the other way on the sinker and put some really good at-bats together. It felt like we didn't get an out for about an hour."

Melvin did consider turning to closer Liam Hendriks in that eighth inning but ultimately didn't want to use him for a five-out save.

"I had him up," Melvin said. "If we got one more out, I was going to use him for four (outs). I wasn't comfortable with five, especially because we're in a tie game at that point in time too when we bring in Lou, so it just didn't make any sense to do that."

Of course, any major-league bullpen needs more than one pitcher a manager can rely on. While Oakland's pen has obviously had its share of struggles this season, it appeared to be returning to form in the last few weeks. The question now is whether this was just one bad night or a cause for deeper concern.

"It's just one game," said A's starter Chris Bassitt, who allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings. "We can try to make this a huge deal kind of thing, but it's just one game. Lick your wounds, come in tomorrow and do your job."

Melvin echoed that sentiment.

"I think we just have to move on," he said. "Now it was pretty extreme. What did they get, seven or eight hits in a row or something like that? Maybe a walk mixed in there too. (That) doesn't happen often, so you've got to give them some credit too. I think we've just got to move on from this one. We've played pretty well up to this point. We just had basically a bad inning today."

[RELATED: Manaea dominates in rehab outing]

The A's have now blown 23 saves this season, tied for the most in the American League. Oakland has also lost seven games when leading after seven innings, compared to just two all of last year.

Still, as Melvin noted, the team has played excellent baseball on this homestand, entering Sunday's finale with a 6-2 record against some of the league's best teams. But you have to wonder if and when all of these blown leads will start to take a toll on the bullpen's confidence.
 

A's vs. Giants lineups: Madison Bumgarner starts in Bay Bridge Series

aslineupsusatsi.jpg
USATSI

A's vs. Giants lineups: Madison Bumgarner starts in Bay Bridge Series

OAKLAND -- The A's and Giants renew their annual Bay Bridge Series on Saturday night as the two rivals square off at the Oakland Coliseum for the first game of a two-game series.

Oakland and San Francisco split two games last week at Oracle Park, with Madison Bumgarner and Homer Bailey each coming away with a victory.

Bumgarner takes the hill again for the Giants on Saturday. The 30-year-old left-hander is 8-8 this season with a 3.72 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 27 starts. Bumgarner limited the A's to one run on two hits in seven innings last Tuesday night. In eight career starts against Oakland, he is 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA.

The A's will counter with right-hander Chris Bassitt. The 30-year-old is 9-5 with a 3.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 21 starts this year. Bassitt has only faced the Giants once in his career, allowing two runs in six innings back in 2015.

Former A's catcher Stephen Vogt returns to Oakland as a member of the Giants. He will bat second and serve as San Francisco's designated hitter.

Oakland's lineup features just one left-handed hitter, first baseman Matt Olson, as they try to beat Bumgarner. The A's are 22-10 against southpaws this season.

Here are the full lineups for the A's-Giants game, which will be broadcast on NBC Sports California (A's), NBC Bay Area (Giants) and the MyTeams app. Coverage begins at 5:30 p.m. PT, with first pitch at 6:07.

San Francisco Giants (63-65)
Mike Yastrzemski, RF
Stephen Vogt, DH
Buster Posey, C
Alex Dickerson, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
Brandon Belt, 1B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Scooter Gennett, 2B
Brandon Crawford, SS

Madison Bumgarner, LHP (8-8, 3.72 ERA)

Oakland A's (74-53)
Marcus Semien, SS
Matt Chapman, 3B
Matt Olson, 1B
Mark Canha, CF
Stephen Piscotty, RF
Chad Pinder, LF
Khris Davis, DH
Jurickson Profar, 2B
Josh Phegley, C

Chris Bassitt, RHP (9-5, 3.61 ERA)