New York Mets fans may be looking into the future of the team when right-hander Kodai Senga takes the mound on Friday to open a three-game road series against the Boston Red Sox
After pitching professionally in Japan for 11 years, the 30-year-old signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets in December — right after New York added Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer in free agency
Senga has had to adjust to the bigger baseball used in the big leagues, but has shown he has top-of-the-rotation ability.
Senga (7-5, 3.20 ERA) has recorded 122 strikeouts through his first 17 starts (95 2/3 innings) and has a 2.37 ERA in his past six outings. He will park against the Red Sox for the first time
“Anyone who can reach guys at the rate possible, that’s going to play,” Mets reliever Adam Ottavino said. “He’s been awesome to watch, and he’s a hard worker. I really believe in him.
Senga held the Los Angeles Dodgers to one run on four hits in six innings on Saturday. He struck out nine and walked just two, but things fell into place Mets in the late innings and the Dodgers earned a 5-1 victory
In his final start before the All-Star break, Senga struck out 12 in eight innings and allowed one run in a 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. That win came after two straight starts in which he failed to hit six.
“I think the most I can play against the strikers, not only against the ball,” Senga told the media through an interpreter on Saturday. “I’m able to throw with more confidence. I can face them and not the ball.”
The IS Red Sox against right-hander Kutter Crawford (4-4, 3.74 ERA), who will try to extend Boston’s five-game home winning streak. Crawford never pitched against the Mets
Crawford pitched six scoreless innings in Boston’s 11-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. He struck out a career-high nine batters, allowed one hit and walked four. It was the third time he pitched at least six innings this season.
New York outfielder Tommy Pham left the Mets‘ Thursday’s 6-2 loss to the White Sox with a groin injury after grounding into a double play in the third inning. Earlier in the day, the Mets outfielder Starling Marte was placed on the injured list due to the lingering effects of a migraine headache
The IS Red Sox coming off back-to-back losses against the Oakland A’s but hope to add to that streak soon with the return of Trevor Story. Story hasn’t played this year after elbow surgery in January, but is scheduled to pitch five innings at shortstop for Double-A Portland on Friday
“We are not cutting corners on rehabilitation,” Red Sox said manager Alex Cora. “We think now is the time to go and we’ll see how long it takes
“It’s not a week thing. We want him to get his legs under him and bounce back after nine innings. This is just the beginning, but it feels good knowing he’s going to go out and play on Friday.”
Earlier this month, Story said he hoped to be in Boston’s lineup sometime in August.
–Field Level Media