Japanese pitchers say their pitches are good… but they are the ‘strikeout king’, ‘bomb king’, and ‘dune king’.

Since Hideo Nomo, Japanese pitchers have made their mark in Major League Baseball. Japanese pitchers, who have always been thoroughly managed inside and outside of baseball, and who have a clear sense of their own strengths, have always been loved by the major leagues.

There was once a perception that Japanese pitchers had good pitches. Even if they didn’t have the fastballs of their major league counterparts, they were considered to have the basics. However, with the rise of fastballs in Japan, this is not necessarily true. This year alone, Japanese pitchers lead the league in strikeouts and walks.스포츠토토

Senga Kodai, 30, who signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the New York Mets before the season, is not known for his good pitches, but for his frequent walks. It’s a far cry from the Japanese pitchers of the 1990s and early 2000s. He strikes out well, but he walks a lot. It’s almost as if this walk problem is holding him back from doing better.

Senga can throw a fastball in the low 90s miles per hour. His average velocity is around 96 mph, which is above the major league average. Considering he’s a starter, that’s top-tier. Add to that his famous “ghost forkball” from his days in Japan, and you have a pitch that haunts hitters’ bats. This year, Senga’s forkball has a whopping 58.1% swing rate. That’s more than half of all swings at bats.

Senga has struck out 10.92 batters per nine innings this year with his forkball. His strikeout rate is 28.3%, which is in the top 19% of the league. But walks are a problem. Senga has been criticized for having a jagged command, and walks often lead to runs. Sure, he’s not known for his razor-sharp fastball in Japan, but he’s never been a pitcher with this much command.

Senga is walking 5.17 batters per nine innings this year. As of Aug. 24, he is the only pitcher with more than five walks per nine innings in regulation. Second-place Zach Flaherty (St. Louis, 4.95) is also under five. Considering there are only seven other players in the league with more than four, Senga’s walk problem is realized.

Shohei Ohtani leads the league in walks and batted balls this year.

Senga has the potential to be even better if he solves his walk problem.

Through 24 innings, Senga has only had one game without a walk in 14 starts this season. Conversely, he’s had 11 games with three or more walks. It’s an ongoing issue, one that he’s aware of, but one that shows no signs of being resolved. While it’s nice to see him go 6-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 14 games with these walks, it’s a ticking time bomb that could explode at any moment.

Outside of regulation, Shintaro Fujinami (29, Oakland) has struggled with strikeouts. Fujinami is walking 7.17 batters per nine innings. That’s the most in the league among pitchers facing 180 or more batters, behind only Brad Keller (Kansas City, 8.31). The move to the bullpen has resulted in fewer walks. Fujinami’s strikeout rate is 16.1%, which is in the bottom 2% of the league. He’s already given up on his pitches locally.

The player with the most walks is also a Japanese pitcher, with the surprising (?) name of Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels). Ohtani has 11 blown saves this year, the most in the league. Blown pitches are very likely to give runners the opportunity to advance at least one more base, and they are very likely to give batters one more pitch. It’s annoying for a pitcher, and second is Sengaro with 8.

Part of the reason for Ohtani’s high strikeout rate is that he’s been throwing more sweepers this year. Sweepers have a lot of lateral movement, but they also have a lot of movement, which makes it hard for catchers to catch them if the pitch isn’t good. Ohtani also has nine balls hit to the body, which is the most in the majors. There were quite a few instances where the sweeper stuck to the left-hander’s body and got hit. Recognizing this problem, Ohtani has been throwing fewer sweepers and more four-seamers and sliders lately.

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