Cubs hound Bassitt, beat NL East-leading Mets 5-2

Sep 12, 2022, 8:00 AM | Updated: 9:38 pm
New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt reacts as he leaves during the fourth inning of a base...

New York Mets starting pitcher Chris Bassitt reacts as he leaves during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Bassitt had his shortest start in three months, failing to get through the fourth inning as the NL East-leading New York Mets lost to the Chicago Cubs 5-2 Monday night.

New York remained 1 1/2 games ahead of Atlanta, which lost 3-2 in San Francisco.

The Mets had won each of Bassitt’s last eight starts, a span in which he had a 2.24 ERA. But the right-hander gave up five runs in 3 2/3 innings — his quickest exit since he lasted a season-low 3 1/3 innings against San Diego on July 8.

“He’s pitched at such a high level, it really catches your attention (when he doesn’t),” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “Chris has been such a rock for us all year and will be again.”

Rafael Ortega homered in the second — the first home run allowed by Bassitt (13-8) since he gave up Manny Machado’s round-tripper July 23, a stretch of 54 1/3 innings. Zach McKinstry hit a two-run shot in the third before Ortega and Alfonso Rivas each had an RBI single in the fourth.

“It’s a bad start,” Bassitt said. “Obviously, this entire game’s on me. It’s unfortunate. But I’ll work my butt off and go to the next one.”

A quartet of relievers blanked the Cubs on two hits over the final 5 1/3 innings. But the Mets stranded 10 runners — including seven over the first six innings against rookie right-hander Javier Assad (1-1), who allowed five hits in earning the first victory of his career.

Mark Canha struck out with the bases loaded in the first. James McCann delivered a two-out RBI single in the fourth, when Brandon Nimmo whiffed to leave two on. Eduardo Escobar tripled with two outs in the sixth but was left there when Assad struck out Tyler Naquin.

“This is a hostile environment here in New York and they’ve got a really good team,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “He had some innings there that things could have sped up on him.”

The Mets loaded the bases with none out but didn’t score in the eighth, when Showalter utilized Mychal Givens — who’d pitched the seventh and eighth — as a pinch-runner at first base for designated hitter Daniel Vogelbach. It was the first pinch-running appearance of Givens’ eight-year career.

But Manuel Rodriguez struck out Canha before giving way to Brandon Hughes, who retired Escobar and pinch-hitter Darin Ruf on flyouts.

“Thought our bullpen was really good after the fact, gave us a chance,” Showalter said. “Just couldn’t cash in a lot of opportunities we had. That was frustrating for us.”

Ruf is hitting .222 with six RBIs in 27 pinch-hit at-bats this season but is in a 1-for-33 slump dating to Aug. 18.

“It’s frustrating but it’s baseball,” Ruf said with a small smile. “It happens.”

Hughes gave up a two-out homer to Francisco Lindor in the ninth before retiring Jeff McNeil on a groundout for his fifth save.

“The guys played really hard, really well and did a nice job,” Ross said. “And Hughsie locked it down for us. Nice overall team win.”

Escobar, who also singled in the fourth, extended his hitting streak to 10 games. He’s batting .500 (18 for 36) during the run.


Mets right-handed reliever Trevor May was activated from the injured list after missing 10 days with COVID-19. May, wearing a mask in the locker room Monday afternoon, said he stayed loose by throwing baseballs against his couch — set on its side and covered in blankets — in his apartment.

“That works really, really well, so I highly recommend it if you ever had to do that,” May said. “You don’t need a net, you can just MacGyver. I was able to throw as hard as I could. I would have had to throw 160 (mph) to get through the couch.”

The IL stint was the second of the season for May, who missed three months with a triceps injury. He had a 3.86 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 9 1/3 innings over 10 appearances in between stays on the IL.

“Timing-wise, really, really frustrating,” May said of his COVID-19 battle. “Not been a lot of things falling my way this year, in general.”


Before the first pitch, moments of silence were held for former big league pitcher Anthony Varvaro as well as the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Varvaro, a New York City native and St. John’s graduate who pitched for three teams from 2010-15 before retiring to become a Port Authority police officer, was killed in a car crash Sunday morning on his way to the 9/11 remembrance in Manhattan.


Cubs: SS Nico Hoerner (triceps) didn’t play after exiting Sunday’s game in the sixth inning. Ross said Hoerner was a little sore but planned to take swings in the batting cage before the game. … Willson Contreras (left ankle) is eligible to come off the injured list Tuesday, but Ross said the All-Star catcher will likely return after Thursday’s off day.

Mets: In addition to activating May, the Mets activated INF Luis Guillorme (left groin), who missed the previous 26 games. To make room on the roster, New York placed RHP Bryce Montes de Oca (left hamstring) on the injured list and designated for assignment INF Devan Marrero.


Cubs: RHP Adrian Sampson (1-5, 3.76 ERA) has one win in 14 starts this season despite allowing two runs or fewer nine times, including in each of his last three outings.

Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (5-1, 1.66 ERA) has retired at least 12 consecutive batters in each of his last six starts, the longest such streak in the last 40 years.


More AP MLB: and

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kenny Pickett (8) celebrates beside teammates after scoring a touch...
Associated Press

Kenny Pickett will be Steelers’ starting QB vs. Bills

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Kenny Pickett Era is officially underway in Pittsburgh. The rookie quarterback will make his first career start Sunday when the Steelers visit Buffalo. Pickett, the 20th overall pick in the draft, made his regular season debut in the second half of a 24-20 loss to the New York Jets. He ran […]
1 day ago
Naomi Osaka of Japan returns a shot against Daria Saville of Australia during a singles match in th...
Associated Press

Naomi Osaka to publish picture book ‘The Way Champs Play’

NEW YORK (AP) — Naomi Osaka has some life lessons she’d like to share. The tennis superstar has a deal with HarperCollins Publishers for a children’s picture book, “The Way Champs Play,” scheduled to come out Dec. 6. Illustrated by Kamala Nair, the book was arranged through Osaka’s new media company, Hana Kuma. The story […]
1 day ago
Ukrainian fans cheer prior to the star of the UEFA Nations League soccer match between Scotland and...
Associated Press

Source: Ukraine to join Spain-Portugal 2030 World Cup bid

GENEVA (AP) — Ukraine is set to join Spain and Portugal in a combined bid to host the 2030 World Cup. A person familiar with the project told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Ukraine is being added to the Spain-Portugal bid. The revitalized bid, which has been in the works for more than three […]
1 day ago
FILE - Texas forward Tiffany Jackson (33) points during Big 12 women's basketball tournament practi...
Associated Press

Former Texas standout and WNBA player Jackson dies at 37

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tiffany Jackson, a former standout at the University of Texas who was the No. 5 pick in the WNBA draft in 2007 and played nine years in the league, has died of cancer, the school announced. She was 37. Jackson, who was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, died Monday. […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

10 mountaineers killed after avalanche in northern India

NEW DELHI (AP) — At least 10 trainee mountaineers died Tuesday after being swept away by an avalanche in the Himalayas in northern India, media reports said, as rescuers searched for 11 others missing. A group of 29 people was hit by an avalanche on a mountain peak located in the Gangotri range of the […]
1 day ago
People offer prayers near the statue of a lion, the mascot of Arema FC, outside Kanjuruhan Stadium ...
Associated Press

Indonesia soccer group: Some gates locked in deadly crush

MALANG, Indonesia (AP) — Delays in unlocking the gates at an Indonesian soccer stadium after violence broke out at the end of a match contributed to a disaster in which at least 131 people died, the national soccer association said Tuesday. The Football Association of Indonesia said it has permanently banned the chief executive and […]
1 day ago
Cubs hound Bassitt, beat NL East-leading Mets 5-2