21% False Swing Rate, Powerful Pitching… Mido “Japanese Pitcher Face-Off, Kikuchi is Better than Senga”


Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi turned in a stellar performance.

Kikuchi pitched five innings, allowing two runs on four hits (two home runs) with eight strikeouts and one walk against the New York Mets in the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series at Citi Field in New York City on Friday. Kikuchi blew the game-winning run in a bullpen blowout, but Toronto defeated the Mets 6-4.

The matchup between the two teams drew a lot of attention because the Mets’ starting pitcher was also a Japanese major leaguer, Senga Godai. It was the 17th time in Major League Baseball history that a Japanese pitcher has started a game. Kikuchi joined the Seattle Mariners in 2019, while Senga made his major league debut in a Mets uniform this year.

In that game, Senga was knocked to his knees in a fastball battle. Senga narrowly avoided a loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits (one earned) with three walks and five strikeouts in 2⅔ innings. Of his 68 pitches, half (34) were strikes 메이저사이트. He raised his season ERA to 3.75 from 3.44.

“Facing Senga for the first time in the majors, Kikuchi dominated Senga with his best pitching of the season,” said Major League Baseball’s official website after the game. Toronto manager John Schneider said, “He threw very good pitches overall today, inducing a lot of swinging strikes and his changeup was good.”

“Despite giving up two home runs to Tommy Pham, he was solid for five innings. He threw 89 pitches and induced 19 swings and misses, 11 of which were sliders. His slider velocity was below average, but his spin rate was up.”

Kikuchi added, “I worked on my slider and curveball in the bullpen and it came out well in the game. My spin hasn’t been working for me the last three or four pitches, and I feel like it’s finally coming together, so I’m happy with it.”

“Kikuchi, a fifth-year major leaguer, pitched with poise in a battle with rookie Senga,” said ESPN. It was a high-profile Japanese matchup, but Senga was a few notches above him on this day.” Tokyo Sports said, “With Senga struggling, Kikuchi has shown his pitching prowess.”

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