The Giants faced Chris Bassitt back in 2015. He pitched six innings and allowed 2 runs in the A’s 2-1 loss. That was also the year the A’s went 68-94. Stephen Vogt was the second-most valuable player on the team after Sonny Gray with 3.7 bWAR.
Also on that team? 24-year old Marcus Semien, in his first full season. He posted a 3 bWAR. All three of those players have come a long way since 2015. Bassitt had Tommy John in May 2016 at 27 and didn’t work his way back to form until this season, at age 30. There’s a cautionary tale for the Johnny Cueto recovery.
But Bassitt has managed to become a very nice starter for the A’s, putting up a 120 ERA+ in 21 starts (119.2 IP). Meanwhile, Marcus Semien has had a glow up season, statistically speaking, with a 126 OPS+, his first season above league average as a hitter. By FanGraphs’ Defensive Runs Above Average, his +12.1 i the best in the American League among shortstops, too.
And, of course, we all know that the Giants would be pretty bad without Stephen Vogt this season.
A’s lineup vs Giants: Semien SS, Chapman 3B, Olson 1B, Canha CF, Piscotty RF, Pinder LF, Davis DH, Profar 2B, Phegley C; Bassitt P.— Martín Gallegos (@MartinJGallegos) August 24, 2019
Minimum 50 innings pitched, here are the three worst teams for Madison Bumgarner, ERA-wise:
Giants' lineup vs. A's:— Maria I. Guardado (@mi_guardado) August 24, 2019
This post was written well before the news about Pablo Sandoval’s Tommy John surgery. There will be more about it tomorrow, but in the meantime, it feels like what was a staggered end of an era is now happening all at once.