Kodai Senga’s much anitcipated debut for the New York Mets could not have gotten off to a worse start.
Senga had been staked to a 2-0 lead before he took the mound as Trevor Rogers was entirely unable to find the zone. The Mets ballyhooed starter had the same problem, giving up a pair of hits and two walks to the first four batters he faced. A mound visit before Senga recorded an out was not what anyone had hoped for.
Kodai Senga delivered on New York Mets expectations
That visit worked wonders. Senga struck out Yuli Gurriel and then found his rhythm. He then struck out Jesus Sanchez and got Jon Berti to line out to left to get out of the bases loaded jam and never looked back. Senga retired 15 of the final 17 batters he faced, showing the form that made the Mets think they added a third ace to their rotation. He allowed just the one run on three hits and three walks, striking out eight over his 5.1 innings.
Senga’s stuff was as advertised. His fastball consistently sat in the mid 90s and was recorded as high as 97 MPH. The “ghost fork” lived up to its legend, disappearing as the Marlins struggled to make contact. Senga was even able to make Gurriel’s bat disappear using the forkball. He mixed his cutter and slider effectively as well, with his slider playing up better than expected.
Yes, it is just one start. And yes, the Marlins are still a free swinging team despite attempts to upgrade their ability to make contact. But there had been some questions as to whether or not Senga would have a major league caliber third offering. The velocity on his fastball and his legendary forkball were considered major league quality; everything else was a question mark. For one outing, Senga showed that his cutter, and his slider in particular, will be solid offerings as well.
Kodai Senga had a rough first four batters to his New York Mets career. From then on, he showed the potential to be another ace.