The Pitching Ninja raves about Kodai Senga's ghost fork: Watching him pitch was fantastic


The Mets won the Kodai Senga sweepstakes this offseason. New York signed the Japanese pitcher to a five-year, $75 million contract.

Senga made his first start on Sunday against the Marlins and it was as advertised.

Rob Friedman, also known as the Pitching Ninja, joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” to break down the best pitches from opening weekend, including Senga’s signature ghost fork.

“Watching Senga pitch (on Sunday) was fantastic,” Friedman said (5:34 in player above). “He struggled in the first inning and was just lightning after that with his ghost fork, which was much-heralded but it’s great to see it in action. That was a lot of fun.”

Senga allowed one run on three hits while striking out eight across 5 ⅓ innings in the win. His ghost fork came as advertised and Friedman explained why it’s so devastating.

“Hitters are used to what they’re used to … if you think of it like a bell curve, you want things on either tail,” he said. “You want things either absurdly high RPMS or absurdly low RPMs, and really stay away from the middle.”

The ghost fork came in on the low end of that bell curve.

“On the low end, you have someone like Senga throwing his ghost fork with under 1,000 RPMs occasionally,” Friedman said.

Senga’s ghost fork and the dominance of Team Japan’s pitching in the World Baseball Classic could lead to a resurgence of the splitter.

“You saw what the splitter did to the US lineup and to everybody in the WBC,” Friedman said. “Team Japan had every single pitcher throwing splitters and it’s a dominant pitch. It looks like a fastball and disappears. I think you’re going to see a resurgence of that.”

If his first MLB start was any indication, Senga’s ghost fork is going to be a pitch to watch this season.

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