There aren’t many pitchers who throw a pitch so unhittable that it gets its own nickname, but Mets hurler Kodai Senga is one of them.
Senga had his best start of the season on Tuesday night against the Phillies, thanks in large part to his filthy “ghost fork.” Senga himself says the pitch is basically just a splitter. He doesn’t grip it as deeply in between his index and middle fingers the way the traditional forkball is thrown. (That pitch has gone out of style due to injury risk.) But the pitch is so filthy that it doesn’t feel right to just call it a splitter. A pitch that deceptive needs its own name, hence, “ghost fork.”
In case the name isn’t self-evident enough, here’s an amazing view of one Senga threw to J.T. Realmuto on an 0–2 count on Tuesday that nearly brought the Phillies catcher to his knees.
Kodai Senga, Disappearing 85mph Ghost Fork. 👻🍴— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 30, 2023
3rd K thru 2. pic.twitter.com/1O8X0LNf9t
The ball was in the strike zone and then—like a ghost—it suddenly wasn’t.
Senga was on top of his game against the Phillies, pitching seven innings of one-hit ball while striking out nine. Here are all nine of those K’s, seven of which came on the ghost fork.
Start your morning getting ghosted 👻— SNY Mets (@SNY_Mets) May 31, 2023
Kodai Senga was absolutely dominant last night pic.twitter.com/s233uyXnHP
Senga, who signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets this winter after an impressive career in Japan, has been giving hitters fits with the ghost fork all season. Players swing and miss at it 59.1% of the time and have picked up just six hits against it.