White Sox 9, Athletics 0: Chris Bassitt’s status the concern

Back in early May, Luis Robert tore his hip flexor in the first inning of a game against Cleveland. The White Sox went on to lose 5-0, and nobody seemed particularly concerned with the day’s outcome as they were about the long-term health of their budding star. It just took the air out of everybody for a day, and it was understandable.

The same thing happened here tonight for Oakland. After the White Sox opened the second inning with a pair of singles off No. 1 starter Chris Bassitt, Brian Goodwin’s scorched 100-mph liner hit the side of Bassitt’s head. Bassitt fell to the ground and remained in a duck-and-cover position for minutes as Oakland’s trainers rushed out with towels that soon became bloody. He was eventually able to rise to his feet and get into a cart, which took him off the field.

The Athletics provided one update during the game.

And Oakland manager Bob Melvin provided one after.

The game was scoreless at the time, but it wouldn’t be for long. Burch Smith warmed up, but he still probably wasn’t prepared for the circumstances given the pall that had fallen over the proceedings. He gave up a two-run single to Andrew Vaughn and a three-run homer to Jake Lamb before settling in. The horror was fresh enough to mute the celebration, but the White Sox had more successes in store that were less connected to the emergency on the field.

For instance, five scoreless innings for Reynaldo López. He might’ve been facing a lineup that wanted to be somewhere else after the second inning, but he still did what he needed to do. He allowed just a hit and two walks while striking out four, and he threw only 66 pitches.

López attacked with his fastball early, then started throwing more secondary stuff later. He lost a couple of batters trying to get sliders over, and it’s the kind of game-calling that might’ve been too cute under more pressing circumstances, because the A’s didn’t come close to forcing him to go away from his fastball. With a five-run lead that swelled to eight and the A’s unable to sustain threats, perhaps the Sox saw a good opportunity to practice pitching backwards.

Likewise, Ryan Burr and Mike Wright each threw two innings in their returns from Triple-A, with Wright making his White Sox debut. A month ago, we might’ve pictured Wright pitching in a game López started and figured he’d be covering the fourth and fifth innings. Instead, he pitched the eighth and ninth while the White Sox led by nine. He and Burr both allowed early traffic, but they were able to summon double plays in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The A’s only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position, and they were 0-for-1.

Meanwhile, the White Sox were 4-for-7, and that doesn’t include an RBI triple from Tim Anderson that scored Zack Collins from first. José Abreu also reached 25 homers for the sixth time in his career, blasting a three-run shot off Smith in the fourth inning that really put the game out of reach.

Bullet points:

*Mitch Moreland pitched the eighth for Oakland and worked around a two-out single by Danny Mendick for a scoreless inning.

*Mendick’s single meant that every White Sox player reached base at least once.

*Anderson had a hot shot by Stephen Piscotty scoot under his glove. It was ruled a single, and while it wasn’t a forgiving scorer, he’d probably say he should’ve made the play.

*The White Sox went 0-3 against Bassitt in since 2019, scoring just one run over 20 innings when including his start in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series. I imagine this isn’t the way they wanted to return to the win column.

Record: 70-50 | Box score | Statcast

(Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/USA TODAY Sports)

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Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Joliet Orange Sox

In TLR’s profile picture for his twitter feed, he seems to be wearing a baseball jersey over a shirt and tie (a great look at any age!). The jersey seems to say “something of something” with the second something starting with an “F”. It’s a shame it can’t be read.

Joliet Orange Sox

I didn’t see the whole game because I took a break after the Sox took the 5-0 lead. It was a little weird to be cheering after the Bassitt incident. I came back later in the game.

I saw Chapman rip a clean single through the left side in the top of the second and the box score shows him as 1 for 2. Later in the game in the 7th, I saw Piscotty hit a ball at 109.7 mph that went through Anderson’s glove that was ruled a single. Is that the hot shot referred to in the bullet points?

Last edited 10 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
Red_Hair_White_Sox

It felt weird to be cheering so soon after the Bassitt injury. My section in CF was pretty loud all game and we had a ton a fun, but that second inning was scary

Yolmer's gatorade

It was hard to see from the bleachers, but it was very concerning especially the time when he was laying there motionless. Once he started moving, I let out a sight of relief, but it would not have surprised me if it was a more serious injury. I am hoping it is only some fractures to the face and not any permanent damage.

Were you sitting by the psychotic guy who kept standing up and screaming at Josh Harrison? Man, that guy was super crazy.

Red_Hair_White_Sox

Nah, didn’t hear that. Was in Right-Center. People around me were taking the Mickey out of Marte all game though

Last edited 10 months ago by Red_Hair_White_Sox
metasox

The White Sox went 0-3 against Bassitt in 2020

Should that read “since 2019”?

texag10

It’s always extremely difficult to see any play get hurt. Hopefully its only stitches and he can get back on the field sooner rather than later.

In less somber news: with that 3 run homer, Abreu is now tied with Rafael Devers for the MLB RBI lead with the White Sox having played 2 fewer games than Boston.

soxygen

Godspeed to Bassitt & his family.

And also, hurray for Rey-Lo. He seems like a genuinely nice guy – I am always hoping he’ll put it all together and have a long MLB career.

soxygen

Just a quick observation related to Lopez: it is hard to get a sense of the personalities of the guys who don’t speak English well, but whenever I have listened to the Spanish language broadcasts I get the sense that Hector Molina really likes Lopez, and Lopez comes off as a really likable guy in the post-game Spanish language interviews I’ve heard.

knoxfire30

I remember a scene in Major League where a batter goes to Jake Taylor ” Taylor what the hell are you doing up here?” and Taylor replies ” Couldnt cut it in the Mexican league”

Feels about how its going with Reylo, Hey kid you are getting shelled in AAA how about we call you up and you dominate…

texag10

Its weird because I can’t argue with the results and I’m good with riding this train for awhile longer BUT: only 7 swing and misses while getting hit hard but right at people feels like the same old ReyLo that will eventually turn back in to a pumpkin.

knoxfire30

its odd to see the lack of swing and misses but better then a K per inning… something has to give

soxygen

For the season, ReyLo has a 21.3% swinging strike rate (would be much higher just looking at his appearances since July24, as he was getting a lot less swing and miss in his first 3 appearances of the year).

For perspective, Lance Lynn’s swinging strike rate this year is 20.1%.

Lopez also has a higher strikeout rate than Giolito and Lynn, and a lower line drive percentage than Rodon, Lynn, Kopech, Cease, and Giolito.

My guess is that there will be some regression. But objectively his performance has been pretty good. Let’s not work too hard to find flaws and just be happy for the guy, who incidentally has been a huge help to the team right when we needed him.

texag10

Yeah, I have no idea where you’re getting your numbers from. Fangraphs has Lopez with an 11.7% swinging strike rate for the season (which is still the highest for his career and only the second time he’s ever been in double digits) and honestly, nothing in the underlying data apart from a wholy unsustainable BABIP screams that something has fundamentally changed. His numbers look like Year 1/2 Lopez which isn’t a bad pitcher and I welcome him back with open arms but there doesn’t appear to be a Giolito/Rodon level transformation happening here. I hope I’m proven wrong though, because you can never have enough starting pitching depth.

soxygen

I got those splits from baseball reference. Percentage of strikes where the batter swings and misses. S/str.

I don’t think there is any transformation happening here either, but I do think he may be benefiting from having a new pitching coach (last year when he struggled he would just talk to Giolito about it – Don Cooper seemed to have taken the last train to the coast, as they say).

In any event, I’ll point out that there were many people on this site that were absolutely incensed when he was called up – which makes me wonder whether a lot of Sox fans are even willing to give him a fair chance.

texag10

Hmm, that methodology seems flawed to me for Bref. So it looks like fangraphs looks at all non-contact swings/total pitches and Bref looks at all non-contact swings/total strikes. Weird.

As for the other stuff, I don’t remember people being “incensed” that he was being called back up. We’ve just seen this show before and it appears right now he’s riding a lot of luck but it also looks like his release point has changed causing a slight change to his spin so maybe that’s enough?

LamarHoyt_oncrack

I’m all for being happy for the guy and giving him credit, but I do share your skepticism. We’ve seen so much bad pitching from him since 2018 that it’s hard to trust.

I hope the doubters are wrong, obviously. Yesterday was a weird game, I’d like to see at least a couple more good outings from him against quality teams before being a believer.

But as a lesson in life, we’re all human beings and it’s easy to get down on ourselves after our failures, and getting counted out by others, and ourselves. Hopefully his is a story of a guy not giving up on himself, getting a lot of help from the right people, and turning it around.

soxygen

Leaving aside the fan graphs v bref argument, let me just point out that using the fangraphs methodology ReyLo has an 11.7% swinging strike percentage which is equal to the swinging strike percentage of Lance Lynn.

My point was his stats don’t look bad when compared to other pitchers who most Sox fans don’t think of as bad. Which site’s swinging strike percentage number is used doesn’t really change that.

Last edited 10 months ago by soxygen
As Cirensica

Sounds like Dylan Cease last year, and look how is that turning out.

texag10

To be honest, I still don’t know how Cease is doing it. He’s getting barreled up more than he ever has before, he’s allowing fly balls at his highest rate, but his HR/FB is the lowest of his career. There doesn’t appear to be a huge change in his pitch profile other than a little more ride on his fastball this year which may be enough to account for this SwStr% increase. Again, I’m gonna enjoy the ride for what it is and not worry too much as he’s still young and learning.

GrinnellSteve

Report just in that Bassitt has fractures in his cheek and upper jaw. He’ll need surgery once the swelling goes down. His vision is unaffected. That strikes me as a best-realistic-case scenario.

I hope he’s able to put it behind him and resume his great pitching. A play like that can get in a pitcher’s head.

asinwreck

That the update didn’t even touch on concerns about bleeding on the brain is the most welcome news. I am relieved he is doing as well as this the morning after and share your hope that he is able to come back as the great pitcher he has become.

GrinnellSteve

When there was no update this morning, I feared they had to wait for swelling to go down before they could even assess the damage. So the report that finally came out was a most welcome relief. I’m sure he’s not out of the woods, but the signs appear to be positive.

As Cirensica

This is good news (within an unfortunate event). I thought he might have a fracture or at least a hairline fracture considering the speed of the baseball and getting hit in an area with no much cushioning (muscles). The best is to hear that his vision and hearing will be OK.

I guess the A’s will be out of their best pitcher for a while. Likely beyond 1 month or so. I hope he can return by the post season…assuming the A’s make it (Yankees, Bluejays, and the Redsox are serious threats)

Eloytes

The TV broadcast did not do Abreu’s home run justice. That was likely the highest hit home run I’ve ever seen in that park. A moon shot indeed.

Infield Grass

That makes sense. Watching on TV it looked like it landed almost vertically just beyond Harrison’s glove.

GrinnellSteve

Chris Bassitt is out of the hospital.

According to the A’s, he was “diagnosed with a displaced tripod fracture in his right cheek that will require surgery. An exam of his right eye was normal for vision, and no other damage is currently noted in the eye or the orbital bone. In addition, a head CT scan revealed no further injury.”

As Cirensica

What a relief. I mean, it is still awful he will need surgery, and we never want a pitcher to be hit in the head with a batted ball, but this outcome is good considering the event. He should be able to comeback and continue his pitching career.

asinwreck

Hope he’s eating well while he has an extended stay in Chicago.