When the Toronto Blue Jays brought Chris Bassitt aboard this past offseason, there are not many people who thought he would turn into the workhorse he is for the club now. Not that he hasn't proven to be one in the past, but this type of production? Forget about it.
Entering Thursday night's game against the Yankees, he needed 7.2 innings to reach the exclusive 200-inning club for the very first time in his nine-year big league career. While he's consistently been a threat to go deep into ballgames, sticking around that long against a Yankees club that has, well, dominated the Jays as of late seemed like it would be too tall of a task.
Jokes on us, though, because Bassitt carved this lineup up and rather easily got there. For the first time in his long and successful career, he has thrown 200 innings. In doing so, he became the first Blue Jays pitcher to reach this since Marcus Stroman in 2017. John Schneider pulled Bassitt as soon as he reached the mark, primarily because he was at 106 pitches at that point, but also because it gave Jays fans the opportunity to properly applaud him for his milestone.
Chris Bassitt reaches 200 innings pitched for the first time in his career
This wasn't a typical Bassitt start though. He didn't just go nearly eight innings, he absolutely dominated an always-dangerous Yankees lineup. He allowed five base hits and walked just one, while keeping the Yankees off the scoreboard and striking out 12 batters, tying his season (and career) high.
There is simply not enough good things to say about Bassitt and what he has brought to the Blue Jays this year. His bulldog, workhorse mentality has gotten the club through some sticky situations throughout the season and the numbers he has put up have backed that up in a big way. After last night's game, he is tied with Zach Eflin of the Rays for the American League lead in wins with 16 and he also has a career-high 186 strikeouts this year.
Next up on the docket for Bassitt is where he'll start if the Blue Jays make it to the Wild Card series. As of Friday morning, a Jays win and a Mariners loss would result in Toronto clinching a postseason berth, one that will be earned thanks to a ridiculous amount of blood, sweat and tears throughout the grind of the season. Kevin Gausman is the obvious choice to start Game 1 of the WC Series, but as of right now it's up in the air whether José Berríos, who's having an excellent season in his own right, or Bassitt would start Game 2.