Senga Godai (30), who signed a five-year, up to $75 million (approximately 99.8 billion won) contract with the New York Mets ahead of this season, has a clear main weapon. It is a pokeball called ‘ghost’ in Japan. This harness, which was also curious about in the United States, was indeed powerful when the lid was opened.
Until the 11th안전놀이터 (Korean time), Senga showed off the power of this forkball to his heart’s content in six appearances this season. After the four-seam fastball (41.3%) with an average speed of 96 miles per hour (about 154.5 km), this forkball (22.4%) was the most popular ball.
When batters hit this forkball, the miss rate reached a whopping 55.8%. It’s one of the best swing miss percentages in the major leagues. The repertoire of pitches leading to four-seam, forkball, and sweeper, and the pitch itself are sufficiently competitive. However, despite having this ‘special move’, Senga is struggling more than expected at the beginning of the season. It’s because of the jegu problem.
Senga started the game against Cincinnati at Great American Ballpark in Ohio on the 12th, but went down the mound after allowing 8 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and 5 runs in 5 innings. The team’s batting line was also silent, failing to erase Senga’s requirement for defeat. In the end, the team lost 0-5, and the season’s second loss (4 wins) went up. His season ERA rose from 3.38 to 4.14.
Episode 1 was a problem. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped. Leading India hit a double that fell into the left field. I was a bit unlucky. After that, he seemed to get over the crisis with two out counts. But from then on, the command began to shake rapidly. The first pitch strike rate dropped, and it was common to get hits after struggling in ball count battles.
He could understand Fraley’s timely hit that landed in front of center fielder. This was also not a good hit. However, Senga was more shaken even after the second company. He got a right-handed hit by Stevenson, followed by a timely double that passed the key to right field to Senzel. After giving up a walk to Ramos and driving to the bases loaded, Newman allowed 2 RBIs and timely hits, allowing 4 runs in the first inning alone. The walk was fatal.
▲ Senga Godai, who has been criticized for his high number of walks this season
The pattern suffered was simple. I didn’t have the four-seam command to get the count. Even when I threw a forkball at batters who had an advantage in counting, they didn’t budge. It was because I could afford to just send about one ball in a situation where the ball count was advantageous anyway. A forkball is a pitch that induces a miss by dropping it low rather than catching a strike. As it is highly likely to become a ball if left alone, the ball count is more disadvantageous. In the end, he put it in the middle and allowed a hit.
Senga threw a total of 16 forkballs that day, but the bat came out six times, less than half. Of these, four misses were induced, and the miss rate was still high, but Cincinnati hitters did not respond well to the forkball. Senga was hit with another solo shot by Steer in the 5th inning, ending the game with 5 runs.
Senga is getting a lot of attention in terms of ‘command’ this season. The number of walks per 9 innings is over 5.5. It is a failing point. Not only the number of walks, but also the number of people feeling frustrated because the ball did not go where they wanted. If this problem is not solved, no matter how many ghosts you have, you cannot succeed in the major leagues. It’s fortunate that it’s a problem that comes along with the adaptation period in the major leagues.