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Mets Pitcher Kodai Senga Triumphs in MLB Debut

Kodai Senga, a former Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks star, lived up to the hype with eight strikeouts in his first regular-season game with the Mets.



Kodai Senga
New York Mets starter Kodai Senga fires a pitch to a Miami Marlins batter on April 2 in Miami. (KYODO)

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New York Mets right-hander Kodai Senga worked out of a bases-loaded jam with no outs in the first inning of his MLB regular-season debut on Sunday, April 2.

The Miami Marlins scored one run off the former Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks standout on a Jorge Soler RBI double before he fanned Yuli Gurriel and Jesus Sanchez in succession and then got Jon Bertin to line out to right at loanDepot Park to end the inning. 

Miami's first five batters reached base, but the Marlins didn't score again in a 5-1 loss to the Mets.

Senga pitched 5⅓ innings to pick up the win. He allowed three hits and a run, walked three and struck out eight.

New York scored twice in the top of the first, then added two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh.

In the bottom of the sixth, Senga struck out Jazz Chisholm Jr, who led off the inning. Mets manager Buck Showalter then opted to go to his bullpen. Relievers Dennis Santana, John Curtiss and Stephen Nogosek secured the win, allowing one hit the rest of the way.

Senga tossed 88 pitches, 53 for strikes. He threw 32 fastballs, 26 forkballs, 18 sweepers (a cross between a slider and a curveball) and 12 cutters, according to The Associated Press' game report.

Kodai Senga
Mets starter Kodai Senga's fastball reached 99 mph (159 kph) in his MLB debut. (KYODO)

Senga Gains Confidence as Game Progresses

Reflecting on his MLB debut, the 30-year-old Senga said he settled down after a first inning in which he battled nervousness. He threw 36 pitches in the opening frame.

"First inning, definitely a lot of nerves," Senga was quoted as saying through a translator, according to The Associated Press. "My legs felt like a ghost. Once I got into a little bit of a pinch, I started to settle down and calm myself down."

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

Author: Ed Odeven

Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven

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