A’s starter Chris Bassitt said he’s feeling too good to be giving up runs the way he did Tuesday in 8-1 loss to Angels
Chris Bassitt took the ball, then threw the ball.
That’s not pitching, he admits.
“It’s just stupid,’’ Bassitt said after getting shelled for six runs in 3.2 innings Tuesday in the A’s 8-1 loss to the Angels.
“I feel so good,’’ the A’s 6-foot-5 power-prone right-hander said after his second start since a strain in his right shoulder cleared up. “I feel so good that I’m throwing instead of pitching, and that’s just being stupid.
“I feel too good to be doing what I’m doing.’’
Bassitt, 26, is one of the younger arms being groomed for a run at the A’s rotation next spring. And the A’s like much of what they see.
Manager Bob Melvin would gladly go with someone who has the quality of stuff belonging to Bassitt next year, but he would like to see more than he has from Bassitt, who is 1-8 with a 3.60 ERA after giving up a career-high six earned runs.
“His stuff was good, but his command wasn’t perfect,’’ Melvin said. “I saw some 97s, some 96s, some 95s.’’
The essence of the problem for Bassitt was pitching with two out. The Angels were 7-for-10 in that situation while Bassitt was in the game, and that stung. All six of the runs he allowed were brought home on two-out hits.
“It sucks that I couldn’t get the last out,’’ Bassitt said. “The fastball I felt I could blow by hitters. Instead of getting good natural sink and weak ground balls, I got the ball up a little and they hit hard ground balls.’’
Vogt hadn’t caught Bassitt since Aug. 26, both men having been sidelined by injuries, but he liked what he saw.
“He had good breaking pitches, a nice cutter and changeup,’’ Vogt said. But his command was a little off. But I thought other than the Johnny Giavotella double (producing two runs in the fourth) the other stuff hit off him wasn’t hit that hard.’’
Bassitt may get one more start before the season is over. His fifth day would be Sunday, the final day of the season in Seattle. And the A’s are short of starting pitchers, so it’s unlikely he’d get squeezed out by anyone else.
It will be one final chance for him to show why he needs a priority position in the running for the 2016 A’s rotation.
The A’s have Sonny Gray penciled it, but beyond that, most of the other prime contenders beyond Bassitt and Sean Nolin are currently injured – Jarrod Parker, A.J. Griffin, Jesse Hahn, Kendall Graveman and Jesse Chavez all are on the 60-day disabled list.
Oakland might be lucky enough or all five of those to come back healthy next spring, but given the nature of injuries, that seem unlikely. So Bassitt has one more chance to get a leg up on the completion Sunday.
–A’s hitters struck out 13 times Tuesday, a number that is tied for the fourth-highest total of the season.
Angels’ starter Nick Tropeano was good, but he hadn’t struck out more than nine in a game this year – a minor league game – before fanning at least two A’s hitters in five of the first six innings. He finished with a career-high 11 strikeouts.
“The first couple of times through the order, we didn’t even put good swings together,’’ Vogt said. “When you can fool Major League hitters like that, your stuff is pretty good.’’
Tropeano had struck out nine in a triple-A game this year but hadn’t fanned more than five in any of his previous 11 big league starts.
“We knew he’d throw his changeup and slider in off-counts, and he did,’’ Melvin said. “He kept us off balance. He had a little more velocity on his heater than we expected, but just a good slider.’’