Bassitt blames MLB for rise in players hit by pitches

·2-min read
New York's Chris Bassitt pitches in the Mets' 3-0 MLB victory over the St. Louis Cardinals (AFP/Joe Puetz) (Joe Puetz)

New York Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt says Major League Baseball is putting players at risk after he saw three more teammates hit by pitches in a win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Mets came away with a 3-0 victory in St. Louis on Tuesday, but Bassitt and Mets manager Buck Showalter weren't celebrating after Mets slugger Pete Alonso was struck in the head by a pitch for the second time this season.

Cardinals starter Jordan Hicks had already hit Dominic Smith in the second inning before Kodi Whitley hit Alonso in the helmet in the eighth. Aaron Brooks hit Starling Marte in the ninth with the bases loaded.

Eighteen Mets batters have been hit by pitches so far this season.

Bassitt, who himself dinged two Cardinals batters with pitches, said the problem is with "different" baseballs in use this season.

"To get hit in the head the amount that we're getting hit is unbelievable," Bassitt said. "I had some close calls tonight, and I've been hit in the face and I don’t want to do that to anybody ever, but MLB has a very big problem with the baseballs. They're bad. Everyone in the league knows it. Every pitcher knows it. They're bad."

Mets manager Buck Showalter has suggested that MLB approve a "universal substance" that all pitchers could use to help them grip the ball after MLB cracked down on the use of sticky "foreign substances" by pitchers last season.

After Tuesday's game, Showalter was less concerned with baseball's overall problem than with the safety of his own players.

"You're talking about a pitch that broke his helmet," he said of the ball that struck Alonso -- who had already been hit in the face by a pitch this season. "It's not good, I'm not happy.”

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