Blue Jays Series Preview: A’s landing hot at the Dome
Game 2: Saturday, April 23rd – 1:07 p.m. ET
J.A. Happ (2-0, 1.89 ERA) vs.
Chris Bassitt (0-0, 2.79 ERA)
Speaking of pleasant surprises in the bullpen, J.A. Happ has been excellent through his first three starts. After signing a three-year, $36 million contract early in free agency, Toronto hoped that they were signing the Pittsburgh version of Happ, not the Seattle version from earlier in 2015. So far, the results are encouraging.
The lanky lefty is coming off back-to-back wins against the Red Sox and Yankees. In his most recent start at Fenway, Happ lasted 7.0 strong innings while allowing just one earned run on four hits while striking out four.
His ability to pitch 20.0 innings through his first three outings, all of which have been quality starts, is a welcome sight to the Blue Jays. Throughout his career, Happ’s inability to work deep into games has been a primary weakness.
Facing Happ will be Chris Bassitt, who made his Major League debut in 2014 with the Chicago White Sox before coming over to Oakland as part of the Jeff Samardzija trade.
He’s pitched well in 2016, outside of his opening start at home against those same White Sox. On April 5th, Bassitt lasted 5.1 innings while allowing four earned runs on eight hits.
Next time out, Bassitt managed to spin seven shutout innings in Seattle against the Mariners despite walking five batters. His most recent outing against the Kansas City Royals saw Bassitt allow two earned runs on five hits while striking out five.
Bassitt is forcing ground balls at a higher rate this season, nearly 55%, and will top out around 94 MPH with his fastball.
Next: Game 3: The Stro Show in the finale