OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Chris Bassitt was overcome by tears after pitching the first complete game of his career, releasing his emotions after all he has endured to become a dominant pitcher for the Oakland Athletics — appreciative of all of those who helped him reach this point.
At 32, the A’s ace is as confident and dominant as ever in his eighth major league season.
Bassitt pitched a two-hitter for his first career complete game, Sean Murphy hit a two-run single in the decisive sixth inning and the A’s took advantage after Bay Area traffic kept Shohei Ohtani off the mound for a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
“I’m just trying to hold back tears right now. There’s so many people in this organization, they have stuck by my side through so much, and I’m just so grateful, honestly,” Bassitt said, pausing and repeating, “I’m grateful. There’s so many people that pushed me when I was going through so much.”
Bassitt underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016 then worked to regain his place in Oakland’s pitching staff.
In a lighter moment after coming off the mound, Bassitt held up a trident spear to celebrate this triumph, a purchase made by Sean Manaea to fit the whole A’s “Ride the Wave” theme as they try to defend their AL West title.
“He’s kind of like a Scherzer type,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said, comparing Bassitt to three-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer. “This guy’s really good, that’s not a fluke by any means. He’s going to be someone to reckon with. He’s the kind of a guy, the guy that we have to learn how to beat in our division, he’s that good.”
Bassitt (5-2) struck out nine and walked one to beat the Angels in back-to-back outings after a win Saturday in Anaheim, allowing just two runs in 7 2/3 innings. He completed this gem in 114…
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