Kodai Senga (New York Mets), who has been a “nemesis” in Nippon Professional Baseball, went 1-for-9 with a home run and four strikeouts, but Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs) gave him a run for his money.
The Chicago Cubs and New York 토토사이트 Mets faced off at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, on April 25 (KST). The Cubs defeated the Mets, 4-2, to extend their winning streak to two games, while the Mets lost their second straight game, clinching the series.
The matchup between Senga and Suzuki was the centerpiece of the game. Senga signed a five-year, $75 million contract with the Mets prior to this season, while Suzuki signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Cubs last year, a season before Senga.
Senga and Suzuki were two of the league’s biggest “superstars” in their two-hit days in Nippon Professional Baseball, but it was Senga who always had a smile on his face when they faced off. According to Japan’s Sportichi Annex, Senga and Suzuki had a combined head-to-head record of 1-for-9 in the regular season, All-Star Game, and Japan Series. Senga was overwhelmingly strong.
Senga and Suzuki hadn’t faced each other since entering the major leagues, but with the Cubs and Mets hosting a three-game series starting on April 24, it was a natural fit. Senga and Suzuki, who won a gold medal together at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, met in the outfield and chatted for a while, and Senga said, “I’m looking forward to our first meeting in the major leagues.”
In Japan, Senga was the overwhelming favorite, but in the majors, things were a little different. Suzuki, who entered the major leagues a year earlier than Senga, laughed. Suzuki led off the bottom of the second inning with a 0-0 tie and battled Senga for eight pitches before getting a forked ball out of the strike zone.
In his second at-bat, he drove in Senga to tie the game. With the Cubs trailing 1-2 and two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Suzuki didn’t miss Senga’s second pitch, an 82.8-mph (133.3-kilometer) forkball that fell just short of the strike zone, and lined a game-tying double to left field. Suzuki then scored on a single by former Hanwha Eagle Mike Tuckman to put the game out of reach.
Senga, who had been retired in order in his previous two at-bats, made the most of his last at-bat in the fifth inning. Senga faced Suzuki for the third time with the bases loaded and the Mets trailing 2-3 in the bottom of the fifth, and he hit a five-pitch high cutter for a catcher’s foul. It was the first time the two had faced off since the 2018 Japan Series, and Suzuki went 1-for-2 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk.
Senga, who looked out of sorts on the day, giving up five hits and five walks in five innings of work, was charged with three runs (three earned) on six hits and three walks to fall to 3-3 on the season, while Suzuki, who has been hitting well of late, went 1-for-3 with a run scored, an RBI and a walk to spearhead his team’s victory. His season batting average rose from .283 to .285.
“I was fortunate to be able to get that one out,” Suzuki said after the game, “I think we’re going to have to face him (Senga) in the future, but he looked solid with a lot of pitches. Still, the atmosphere on the mound was great, it was awesome. He’s a pretty tough pitcher when he doesn’t get strikes, but I think it was good today,” he said of facing Senga.