The start of the year wasn’t easy for most starters on the New York Mets roster, for a variety of reasons.
Jose Quintana went down for a few months, Max Scherzer has been injured and suspended, Justin Verlander was out for more than a month, David Peterson has been wildly inconsistent, and Carlos Carrasco has also missed time.
The only constant in the group, so far, has been Japanese import Kodai Senga.
Now, Senga hasn’t been perfect.
In fact, he has given up 5.07 walks per nine innings pitched, which is considerably higher than everybody expected.
He never had command problems in Japan.
However, there have also been strikeouts.
Lots of them.
Kodai Senga ranks top 5 among all MLB starters this season in strikeouts per 9 innings ♨️ pic.twitter.com/tlxPTNjESM
— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) May 31, 2023
With 11.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, he is part of an exclusive group.
He ranks fifth in all baseball, which is incredible.
His ghost forkball has been missing bats at a very high pace, but he complements that with elite velocity for a starter and a good set of secondary offerings.
The strikeouts help offset the walks somewhat, and as a result, he has a great 3.44 ERA in 55 innings so far with the Mets.
He was utterly dominant on Tuesday night against the Philadelphia Phillies.
He tossed seven scoreless innings against a direct division rival, with nine strikeouts.
The best part of his night is that it did not include any walks.
As Senga settles into America, the Mets, and his routine, he will only get better and better.
Years of top performance in Japan, the second-best league in the world, back him up.
He is starting to show what he is capable of.NEXT: Kodai Senga Ranks Among The Best In Important Category