Kodai Senga's final start of 2023 is a chance to join the 200 strikeout club

New York Mets v Miami Marlins
New York Mets v Miami Marlins / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

If you play immaculate grid, you’ve probably been surprised how few pitchers on some teams have ever struck out 200 in a season. There have been 30 instances when a New York Mets pitcher crossed over 200. The list includes a bunch of Tom Seaver, some Jacob deGrom, and even a 2000 season when Al Leiter hit the mark.

When Kodai Senga steps on the mound for his final start of 2023, he’ll need 6 strikeouts to join the club.

NY Mets pitcher Kodai Senga needs to strike out 6 Marlins for 200 on the year

Senga faced the Marlins last week and only struck out 3 batters in 6 innings of work. His strikeouts have been somewhat unpredictable. Over his last 5 appearances, he has games of 10, 12, 5, 10, and the 3 versus Miami his last time out.

The 200 strikeout club for Senga this season is hardly his biggest accomplishment. Senga’s more impressive feat is the strikeout rate. At 10.82 per 9 innings of work, he’s currently ranked fifth all-time for a single season.

Who has been better? deGrom tops the list at 13.76 and an asterisk from 2020. Behind him is Dwight Gooden at 11.39 from the 1984 season. Next is deGrom from 2019 at 11.25 and him once again at 11.15 in 2018.

As common as it may feel for a starting pitcher to average a strikeout per inning, it’s a much rarer event in Mets history than getting to 200. There have been only 18 seasons of a Mets starting pitcher doing so with enough qualified innings. Seaver did so only once in his time in New York. Baseball was just different then.

Senga has long locked himself into averaging more than a strikeout per inning, but the 200 will take a few frozen Marlins at the plate and a couple of holes in their bats. This is the fourth time he’ll face them this season. He struck out 8 in his season debut and another 6 in his next start. He’s averaging just shy of 6 per outing against Miami. Can he bump it up a little with a strong encore?