Senga Kodai (30-New York Mets), who took the loss despite pitching 6⅔ innings of two-run ball, was happy instead of frustrated. He was reunited with fellow Japanese national Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels), who was also a two-hitter.
Senga pitched 6⅔ innings of four-hit, three-run ball with 10 strikeouts and two walks against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., on Saturday (June 26), but a lack of offensive support cost him his seventh loss of the season (10 wins).
A Japanese two-hitter against Ohtani was set up in the first inning. The result was a loss for Senga. With the bases loaded, he gave up a straight ball to Ohtani. However, no runs were scored. He struck out Brandon Drury on a wild pitch and got Mike Moustakas to ground out to third to end the inning.
In the second, back-to-back singles to leadoff man Luis Lengipo and Logan Ohafi put runners on first and second with no outs. This time, Hunter Renfroe struck out Mickey Moniak and got Randall Grichuk to ground out to third to end the inning.
With the score still 0-0, the first run of the third inning came, and again, it couldn’t get past Ohtani’s wall. He gave up a leadoff single to Nolan Chanuel, a sacrifice fly to Drury to put runners on second and third with no outs, and a single to center off Mustachus on a 115.4 mph (185 km/h) bullet from Ohtani.
Senga settled down in the fourth. He started the fifth with two strikeouts and gave up another walk to Ohtani, but he got Drury to ground out to second and Mustachus to fly out to center, and he got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth with an Ohafi single to Renfroe.
Trailing 1-2 in the seventh, Senga took the mound and struck out the first two batters he faced, Moniak and Grichuk. The so-called ghost fork, his signature weapon, left the batters stranded. He was then replaced by Adam Kolek, who finished the game with an unfortunate outing. He threw 105 pitches.
Although he took the loss, Senga’s changeup was so sharp that it wowed his opponents. According to MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, Angels manager Phil Nevin said, “Senga’s splitter looks as good as any pitch I’ve ever seen. He throws pitches that are impossible to hit, and that’s what Ohtani does,” Nevin said of the Japanese duo’s matchup.온라인바카
Senga was able to forget about the day’s results for a moment as he and Ohtani battled it out on the dream stage of the Major Leagues. “I think Ohtani is a very special player,” Senga said. He makes everything special with his presence,” said Senga. “I played against him a few times in Japan and it was exciting to see him here again. I wish him all the best and hope he continues to do his best.”
A former member of the SoftBank Hawks, Senga went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA in 22 games in the 2022 season, ranking second in the Nippon Professional Baseball Central League in ERA, third in wins and fourth in strikeouts (156). He became eligible for overseas free agency and submitted a request to SoftBank to exercise his free agent rights in late October of last year, finally fulfilling his dream of playing in the United States when he signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets in December.
Senga is coming off an impressive rookie season with the Mets, going 10-7 with a 3.17 ERA in 24 games.