He’s no longer a “ghost forkball,” but a major league ace.
Senga Kodai, 30, a Japanese right-hander who played in Nippon Professional Baseball until last year, entered the major leagues this year in a New York Mets uniform. The result: success. Starting all 27 games this season, Senga has exceeded expectations with an 11-7 record and a 2.95 ERA, striking out 191 batters in 155⅓ innings pitched.
There is even talk that Senga should be considered for the National League Cy Young Award. MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, featured 10 players who deserve more love this season. The article focused on underrated players. Senga’s name was among them.
“Senga should be in the conversation for the Cy Young Award in the National League,” MLB.com wrote, “and we’re not just talking about the ‘phantom forkball’. Senga gets most of the headlines for his spectacular pitches, but he should get far more headlines for being one of the best pitchers in the league,” arguing that Senga should be recognized for his skills, not just for his ‘phantom forkball’.
Indeed, Senga has solidified himself as a starter to watch in the league this year. This is reflected in his record. “The Mets ace ranks third in the National League in ERA, eighth in the league in strikeouts, fourth in K/9, and third in wins above replacement (WAR) per Baseball-Reference,” MLB.com wrote in describing Senga’s value.
MLB.com also emphasized Senga’s ability to prevent runs. “Senga is the second-best pitcher in the National League at preventing runs, behind only Blake Snell. Interestingly, Senga (27 runs prevented) has been as valuable this season as Justin Verlander (15 runs prevented) and Max Scherzer (12 runs prevented) combined,” MLB.com explained. While referring to Verlander and Scherzer, both of whom are now with the Mets, he added that Senga has pitched just as well.
The regular season is almost over. Senga is still in top form. His last start was on May 15 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In that game, Senga pitched six innings of no-hit ball, allowing just two hits and two walks while striking out 10. The win was well-deserved.스포츠토토
Senga’s fastball reached 98.3 mph (158 km/h) that day. It doesn’t look like he’s lost any power at all, even at this late stage of the season. Arizona’s starter against Senga, Merrill Kelly, was a disaster, giving up seven runs on six hits, four walks, and seven strikeouts in five innings.
Will Senga’s hot streak continue to the end of the season? Senga is scheduled to start against the Miami Marlins on April 21.