The New York Mets will go for their first 3-0 start since 2012 when they visit the Washington Nationals on Saturday night.
The Mets took game two of the four-game set, 7-3 on Friday, with former National Max Scherzer going six innings for the win in his Mets debut.
Saturday, it will be 33-year-old right-hander Chris Bassitt’s turn to make his first start as a Met.
Acquired in a March trade with the Oakland Athletics, Bassitt went 12-4 with a 3.15 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 157 1/3 innings in 2021 while earning a berth in the All-Star Game.
“Of course there are nerves because it’s a new team and you want to put your best foot forward,” said Bassitt, who threw 90 pitches in his final spring training outing. “But overall, I feel good.”
Bassitt has never faced the Nationals.
Washington, looking to avoid its first 0-3 start since losing the first seven games in 2009, will counter with 23-year-old rookie Joan Adon.
Adon made his major-league debut last September in the season finale, pitching 5 1/3 innings against the Red Sox, giving up two earned runs on six hits while striking out nine.
On Monday, Adon pitched four innings against the Cardinals in his first spring training start after two relief appearances. He gave up three runs on four hits and struck out five.
“I like him, I really do,” manager Dave Martinez said after Monday’s game. “I know he’s part of our process of being young, but I think he’s come a long way.”
With Stephen Strasburg and Joe Ross on the injured list, Adon is in the rotation at least for now.
Friday night, Scherzer (1-0) allowed three runs on three hits, striking out six and walking one.
Jeff McNeil, who turned 30 Friday, had three hits, including a solo home run, and the Mets went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Starling Marte drove in three runs with a pair of hits for New York.
Four Mets have been hit by pitches in two games.
Francisco Lindor was squaring to bunt when he was hit in the face by a pitch from Steve Cishek on Friday night. Ultimately both benches and bullpens emptied, but calm soon was restored.
Lindor left the game, but the Mets later announced X-rays on his jaw were negative and he passed a concussion test.
“One of my teeth might be cracked, but not bad. I can still smile,” Lindor said after the game.
Pete Alonso was hit by a pitch that struck him on the shoulder and mouth Thursday night but was in the lineup Friday.
“Both times it was unintentional, super unintentional,” Martinez said. “I have no ill feelings about what they did. I just know I went out there (tonight) to protect our players. I didn’t want to see anything get escalated any more than to what it did.”
Josh Bell hit a two-run homer for the Nationals and Keibert Ruiz had two hits for the second straight game.
Starter Josiah Gray (0-1), obtained with Ruiz in the trade that sent Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, allowed four runs on eight hits over four innings.
–Field Level Media