Toronto Blue Jays' Chris Bassitt pitches during the first inning...

Toronto Blue Jays' Chris Bassitt pitches during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Mets on Friday, June 2, 2023. Credit: AP/Frank Franklin II

The keys to beating Chris Bassitt and the Blue Jays on Friday, Buck Showalter said before the Mets’ 3-0 loss, were multiple.

“You’re going to have to have a well-pitched game,” the manager said.


Justin Verlander held Toronto to one run in six innings, totaling 117 pitches — the most by any MLB pitcher this year and his most since a no-hitter on Sept. 1, 2019, coincidentally also against the Blue Jays. He scattered five hits and three walks, striking out eight.

“And whatever opportunities you get against him,” Showalter said, “you better cash in on.”


The Mets (30-28) squandered the few chances they did get against Bassitt, a staple of their rotation last year, by going 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranding four.


Bassitt — whose wife went into labor with their second child before the game, according to Jays manager John Schneider — struck out eight and walked none in 7 2⁄3 three-hit innings.

George Springer, the first batter of the game, launched a home run to center to put Toronto (31-27) ahead. Daulton Varsho hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Jeff Brigham to account for the rest of the scoring.

“It’s not frustrating,” Verlander said. “Bassitt looked great. He had an on night. We’ve been playing pretty good baseball. This is just one of those days. We had a good fight, it was a good game, we were in it the whole way and didn’t come out on top. This isn’t anything to get frustrated about.”

The Mets’ best chance against Bassitt came in the bottom of the third, when Mark Canha singled and Francisco Alvarez reached on first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s fielding error to put runners at the corners with none out and the top of the order due up.

Then Bassitt, throwing eight different types of pitches, retired the next 14 batters.

His escape job in that third-inning jam happened quickly. Brandon Nimmo, offering a rare swing at the first pitch, popped out. Francisco Lindor struck out, watching a pair of juicy sinkers over the heart of the plate for strikes two and three. And Jeff McNeil, offering a very common swing at the first pitch, also popped out.

Those three outs required six pitches.

“I was looking for the two fastballs he threw me,” Lindor said. “I just couldn’t pull the trigger on either of them. They were in the zone that I wanted it. I got caught up with his mechanics, he threw me out of rhythm. So hats off to him. He kept at least me off balance. He kept me out of rhythm. Today you gotta give it to him.”

Nimmo said: “Bassitt has a lot of different pitches. He was hitting the corners well tonight. I didn’t capitalize on a couple of mistakes that he left me. That’s really what it came down to.”

Verlander was almost as good but not as efficient. The greatest drama came in his 30-pitch final frame, when Showalter left him in despite the high pitch count. He struck out Varsho swinging to strand the bases loaded.

Of the 17 games in which the Mets have received at least six innings from their starting pitcher, this was the first they lost.

“Very typical — gives up a home run to lead off the game and puts up a lot of zeros there,” Showalter said. “That’s the only reason we were in that game. He almost matched Bassitt. He’s been doing that for a long time, being able to dial up what was needed to keep us in the game.”

Verlander said of the pitch count: “I’m thankful for the opportunity and glad I was able to come through. That’s how you win those tight ballgames, not have to go to the bullpen too early. Obviously, it didn’t change the outcome, but it could have. That’s why I work so hard. I haven’t thrown that many in a while, but I felt good physically.”

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