D-backs to get 1st look at ‘Ghost Fork’ vs. Mets’ Kodai Senga

Jul 5, 2023, 5:55 PM

Kodai Senga...

Kodai Senga #34 of the New York Mets pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers during their game at Citi Field on June 28, 2023 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks will get their first look at the famed “Ghost Fork” pitch by New York Mets rookie starter Kodai Senga on Wednesday at Chase Field.

Senga signed with New York from Japan last offseason, and the 30-year-old has fooled MLB hitters with a whopping 58.8% swing and miss percentage using the pitch.

D-backs hitting coach Joe Mather described the pitch as similar to a splitter but without much spin.

“It’s a really good pitch, that’s a good name for it because it seems to disappear,” Mather said. “It’s coming down the middle of the plate and all of the sudden its below the zone and somewhat unhittable when it’s below the zone. … I’d imagine everyone in the league is trying to get it up and decipher the difference between the four-seam and the Ghost Ball.

“It has very little spin on it, that alone will make it drop more. Guys will tend to hit the top of it.”

Mather said hitters describe its movement as tumbling.

It’s Senga’s second-highest used pitch this year aside from the fastball. He also utilizes a cutter, sweeper and slider.

Mather explained the pitch’s effectiveness comes from deception rather than movement since his arm action is the same as with his fastball.

“We’ve seen changeups and splitters that have more depth to them, certainly that have more run, his is pretty much straight down, it has a little arm side (movement), as much as his four-seamer,” Mather said. “It looks like a heater until it drops out.”

Here’s an overlay of his fastball and forkball from his last start posted by Rob Friedman:

The fastball averages 95.6 mph versus the forkball at 83.6 mph.

The pitch has become somewhat a phenomena in Queens this year, with ghost merchandise, stitchings on Senga’s glove and animations on the big screen. It has also caught the fascination of national baseball broadcasters.

The righty has a 3.53 ERA in 15 starts this year with 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings and 5.1 walks.

Senga was initially slated to start Tuesday’s game, but the Mets switched him and Max Scherzer before first pitch, which had Arizona’s staff scramble a bit.

The Mets will see D-backs lefty Tommy Henry, whose last six starts have resulted in wins.

Catch Wednesday’s game at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and

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D-backs to get 1st look at ‘Ghost Fork’ vs. Mets’ Kodai Senga