Kodai Senga discusses how first inning snowballed in Mets' loss to Reds
In the span of five Cincinnati Reds batters in the first inning of Thursday’s game at Great American Ball Park, Kodai Senga’s outing was completely derailed.
After allowing a leadoff double, Senga retired the next two Reds and could see his way out of the inning with a zero on the board. Then the following happened:
- Jake Fraley RBI bloop single to center
- Tyler Stephenson check-swing single to right (took second on the throw)
- Nick Senzel RBI double to right
- Henry Ramos walk
- Kevin Newman two-run single
Just like that, the Mets, struggling mightily to score runs, found themselves down 4-0. Senga settled in after that and allowed one additional run in the fifth inning, but by that point, the game felt out of hand.
“I thought Kodai was the victim of, he got a little flare to center and a check-swing the other way, and that kind of gets multiplied when you’re not scoring any runs,” said Buck Showalter.
Senga said afterwards that he made a point to attack the strike zone more than he has in prior starts, but the Reds took advantage of seeing more pitches over the plate.
“I think I was able to control myself pretty well today. One thing I had in mind coming into this outing was pounding the strike zone, which I thought I did pretty well, but I happened to throw it where they could hit it,” Senga said, via a translator.
“Those weak hits turning into hits, it is what it is. There’s not much you can do about it, but to let in those runs in the first inning, it’s hard to get the team in a groove, so that’s something I need to work on.”
It was certainly a disappointing outing for Senga, especially after throwing 6.0 shutout innings against the Colorado Rockies his last time out. He threw 95 pitches this time around, allowing five earned runs on eight hits over his 5.0 innings. He struck out seven and walked one, and did allow his sixth homer of the season when Spencer Steer took him deep in the fifth.
And it’s hard not to wonder how different his final line would have been if Senga had just been able to get that third out in the first.
“Not being able to get that third out in the first inning makes the game a little bit harder to win,” Senga said, “so that’s one thing I need to focus on.”
The Mets have now dropped five straight series, the first time the team has done that since the 2012 season. To get back on track, Senga says it comes down to everyone doing their job so that things can start heading in the right direction.
“I think everybody just needs to do their job, fulfill their role, and as a starter I need to go deep in the games and get the team on a good roll,” he said.