New York Mets Japanese pitcher Senga Godai, 30, maintained a sub-2 ERA in his final start of the season. He also surpassed the 200-strikeout mark to complete a successful debut season in the major leagues.
Senga started the second game of the 2023 Major League Baseball doubleheader against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on three hits (two home runs) and three walks while striking out eight.
Senga, who gave up two solo homers to John Bertie in the first and Jesus Sanchez in the fourth, dropped from a 2-2 tie with 96 pitches in five innings. He didn’t get the win but struck out eight. He used an even mix of six pitches, including a four-seam fastball (47) that topped out at 98 mph (157.7 km/h) and averaged 95.9 mph (154.3 km/h), plus a cutter (19), slider (15), curveball, and sweeper (two more).
In all, Senga finished the season with a 12-7 record in 29 games (166 1/3 innings) with a 2.98 ERA, 202 strikeouts, a 1.22 WHIP, and a 2.08 K/BB ratio. He ranks second in the National League (NL) in ERA, third in strikeouts, and seventh in walks. He’s also in the mix for the NL Rookie of the Year award.
Most notably, he has posted a sub-2 ERA since his rookie year. Senga is the second Asian pitcher in 28 years to have a sub-2 ERA in regulation innings in his first year in the majors, after Japanese pitcher Hideo Nomo (2.54) of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995. Korean pitcher Ryu Hyun-jin posted a 3.00 ERA in his debut with the Dodgers in 2013, but fell one strikeout shy of the record.
Senga also surpassed the 200-strikeout mark. He is only the fourth Asian pitcher ever to strike out 200 batters in his first year in the majors, behind Nomo in 1995 (236), Daisuke Matsuzaka of the Boston Red Sox in 2007 (201), and Darvish Yu of the Texas Rangers in 2012 (221). Only two other non-Asians have reached 200 strikeouts as a rookie in this period, Kerry Wood of the Chicago Cubs in 1998 (233) and Spencer Strider of the Atlanta Braves last year (202).
According to Japanese media outlets such as Sports Nippon, after the game, Senga said, “It’s good that I was able to achieve my target of 200 strikeouts. Before the season, my biggest goal was to have an injury-free season rather than a record. I’m proud that I finished without any injuries.”
“My biggest regret is that the team didn’t win more games. I hope the team will strengthen the team so that I won’t be called an ace,” he said, lamenting the team’s fourth-place finish in the National League East (72 wins, 86 losses, .456 winning percentage). “I think I grew a lot over the year. “We’re going to be harder on ourselves in the offseason so we can be better next year. We left too many runners on base, 스포츠토토 and we want to improve on that.”
Mets manager Buck Showalter said, “It’s hard to put into words what Senga has done this year. I’m proud of him for coming to the major leagues and overcoming so much. He’s been working hard every day in practice.