WASHINGTON — Pete Alonso stepped on the plate with the bases loaded against a gassed 23-year-old Nationals pitcher. Alonso closed his eyes and took a deep breath when the score was 2-1. Then the Mets hitter sent Joan Adon’s 86th and final pitch of the night to the moon – which settled over the left field wall as a grand slam.
Alonso watched him sail – the ball hung in the air for almost seven seconds – but he didn’t wait for it to fall before flipping his racquet and jogging around the bases. Alonso’s first career grand slam was also his first home run of the year, and it was all it took for the Mets to open a scoreless game and beat the Nationals 5-0 at Nationals Park on Saturday night.
The Mets’ third straight win this year wasn’t just on offense. Far from it.
Mets starters continued their strong start into their first lap through the rotation as well.
New Amazin pitcher Chris Bassitt dazzled in his Mets debut and first win of the year on Saturday. Bassitt threw six scoreless innings and allowed three hits, a walk and registered eight strikeouts on 93 pitches. GM Billy Eppler traded for Bassitt in March, just a few days after the MLB suspension was lifted, he sent top right-handed prospect JT Ginn and pitcher Adam Oller to Oakland in return.
National’s hitters were stunned by Bassitt’s pitch mix, which included a fastball, slider, changeup, cutter, sinker, and curveball. Mets catcher James McCann went through Bassitt’s entire arsenal and showed the signs as the right-hander shook his head before nodding in his final decision.
Bassitt’s first strikeout of 2022 came at the expense of one of baseball’s best hitters. Aside from the fact that the smash against Juan Soto is an accomplishment in and of itself, Bassitt started 3-0 down on the count. His cutters and switches didn’t get Soto to bite, so Bassitt switched to his four-knife. He painted the inside of the plate with two fastballs before getting Soto to swing and miss a 94mph foursome to end the at-bat with an impressive touch.
On Saturday, Bassitt became the second pitcher in history to record a scoreless Mets debut of at least six innings with eight or more strikeouts. Colin McHugh was first as he threw seven scoreless innings and potted nine in 2012.
So move over Max Scherzer and finally over Jacob deGrom. Bassitt might technically be the No. 3 starter, but there’s certainly another ace in the Mets rotation.
https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/04/09/pete-alonso-crushes-first-career-grand-slam-chris-bassitt-dazzles-in-mets-win/ Pete Alonso crushes first-career grand slam, Chris Bassitt dazzles with Mets win – The Mercury News