chris bassitt mets
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The Mets made a number of win-now moves last winter in advance of the 2022 MLB regular season. General manager Billy Eppler’s Black Friday spending spree, which included signing Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Starling Marte turned heads, as did acquiring Max Scherzer.

But one huge acquisition New York made didn’t happen until March. That’d be a trade with the Athletics that netted them starting pitcher Chris Bassitt.

The right-hander has already put together another solid campaign as he enters his Wednesday afternoon start against the Pirates. With 154.1 innings under his belt, this is the third time he’s surpassed the 140-inning plateau as a big leaguer. This is also the third time he’s produced at least 2.0 fWAR, with his current 2.5 mark ranking as the second-best of his career.

Bassitt’s second-half surge has propelled his season

Like most members of the Mets, Bassitt got his 2022 season off to a solid start. Through his first 24 innings, he posted a 2.25 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP, a 28.0% strikeout rate, and a 7.5% walk rate. But then the struggles came in the two months that followed.

In May and June, Bassitt combined to toss 65.2 frames for New York. Most of the numbers you see above got worse during this stretch. His ERA went up to 4.66, his WHIP rose to 1.23, and his strikeout rate dropped to 25.0% (his walk rate did improve to 6.9%, though). It would’ve been easy to watch his season continue to tailspin from there. The right-hander has not only gotten back on track but he’s also turned things up a notch.

Through Bassitt’s most recent 64.2 innings, he’s posted a 2.37 ERA with a 1.14 WHIP, an 18.0% strikeout rate, and a 5.3% walk rate. For someone who’s never really been a huge strikeout guy, controlling the type and quality of contact is a crucial part of his game. He’s excelled in those areas this season — both on an individual basis and compared to his fellow rotation mates.

Controlling the contact of opposing hitters

Entering Wednesday’s start, Bassitt has induced the following batted-ball events at the corresponding rates:

  • Line drives: 17.4%
  • Ground balls: 49.2%
  • Fly balls: 33.4%

If the season were to end today, both his line-drive rate and ground-ball rate would be new career-best marks. The only time he had a lower fly-ball rate was in 2014, when he posted a 33.3% clip as a rookie in 29.1 innings.

The same kind of stuff is happening upon looking at the quality of contact opposing hitters are generating. Between 2018 and 2021, Bassitt produced a soft-hit rate somewhere between 16.4% and 17.1%. So far in 2022, that number is up at 22.5%. His hard-contact rate allowed has gone on a bit of a roller coaster since 2015, and he’s on the good part of the ride right now:

  • 2015: 23.6%
  • 2016: 33.3%
  • 2018: 34.3%
  • 2019: 37.2%
  • 2020: 33.7%
  • 2021: 27.6%
  • 2022: 24.5%

Regarding how these numbers rank among the rest of the Mets’ rotation, they’re quite good. When looking at starters with at least 30 innings pitched, Bassitt’s line-drive rate is the lowest and his ground-ball rate is the second-highest mark. The right-hander’s soft-hit rate allowed is second to only Scherzer, while his hard-hit rate allowed is the lowest.

Mets need this to continue immediately

Every team goes through peaks and valleys regarding performance throughout the season. That’s just bound to happen during a 162-game marathon — even for some of the best squads. The Mets are currently in a very untimely production valley and could use a hand from Bassitt.

New York was supposed to be entering the easy part of its schedule, but it’s been anything but that. Over their past three games (two against the Nationals, one against the Pirates), they’ve been outscored 22-4. The Mets’ odds of reaching the postseason are still all but secured, but winning the division is very much in doubt unless they can turn things around quickly.

If there’s ever a time for manager Buck Showalter’s team to get back on track, it’s Wednesday at PNC Park. The Mets are set to play two against the Pirates, with Bassitt going in Game 1, followed by Jacob deGrom in Game 2.

Bassitt needs to set the tone in the afternoon matchup, as he looks to post his seventh start of no more than two runs allowed in his last eight tries. You don’t want to have your pitchers thinking they can’t make many mistakes while on the mound, but New York’s offense has been so non-existent that this certainly seems like the case right now.

With Bassitt and deGrom on the bump, these are two good options to try and keep the Pirates from putting up runs in bunches again.

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Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.