KIA 24-year-old New Fireballer is at a Crossroads

For the leading KIA Tigers, the sweep of the three consecutive Changwon games against the NC Dinos from the 17th to the 19th is very meaningful. This is because the overall flow of the team has turned from a downward trend to an upward trend, rather than simply widening the gap between the second and third-ranked Samsung Lions and NC by three to four games.

Notably, the team had a 7-4 victory in its first game of the three consecutive games on Tuesday. If Kia has a happy ending this season, it will surely be remembered as one of the good inflection points. Fatigue accumulated due to simultaneous departure of Lee Ui-ri, Will Crow, and Lim Ki-young began to be revealed throughout the mound. Moreover, it had to employ eight pitchers as it played the game against the Doosan Bears in Gwangju on Tuesday through the 12th inning of extra time.

The first game of the three consecutive weekend games that Lee prepared by moving to Changwon right after the game. Manager Lee Bum-ho tried to send out out outfielder Park Jung-woo in the 11th inning of extra time, which was a very difficult game for pitchers. As he is still in the middle of the season, he could not blindly entrust three consecutive games of the main bullpen. Manager Lee Bum-ho recalled that there were five bullpen pitchers that he could operate on the day.

Virtually all of the winning teams except Jeon are not able to participate. Against this backdrop, right-hander Kim Do-hyeon who was in charge of the second innings of the game was displaying encouraging pitching. On that day, Kim threw 41 pitches during the two innings, allowing two hits, two strikeouts, and two walks.

The score was not stable. He also lost points and sent four runners, putting tension on the bench. He gave up a sacrifice fly to Park Kun-woo in the bottom of the sixth inning with the bases loaded with one out, when the game was actually tying 3-3. However, he did not allow any additional runs afterward. As Matt Davison lost control of the high ball, he struck out Chari and Kim Do-hyeon gained momentum.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, however, he struck out Seo Ho-cheol, a pinch hitter with two outs and a third base hit, by mixing 149 kilometers fastball and 126 kilometers curveball, to overcome the crisis. He received two runs in the top of the seventh inning. Kim Do-hyeon became the winning pitcher again in 1,319 days after the match against the KIA Tigers in Gwangju (starting the game, allowing three hits, four strikeouts, and no runs in six innings) on Oct. 7, 2020, when he was with the Hanwha Eagles.

Kim will play in the bullpen this season. At the end of this season, he plans to receive a clear role in the long run. The best scenario that Kim and KIA can draw this season is to join the must-win team. It would be the best if it helps the group that is highly likely to get tired right away.

He had one win, one loss, two holds and an earned run average of 4.50. WHIP 2.00 with a batting average of 0.273. He says his record is still shaky. Still, he performed a lot of weight training after serving in the military. He started shooting around the late 140 kilometers on average. He often shoots 150 kilometers in the fastball league. Speed that he did not see in his days with Hanwha or KIA before he served in the military. If one acquires more experience and enhances game management ability, one cannot avoid joining the must-win group going forward, even if it is not this season. In a way, Kim is at a crossroads.

“I thought not to give extra points when I go up to the mound. I pitched on Han Jun-su’s lead, and I was able to overcome the crisis with good teamwork between the batteries. I think reducing the number of walks is always my homework. Although I won the game, I will reduce the number of walks and pitch better next time I take the mound,” Kim said.

Also, Kim said, “It doesn’t feel real because it’s been so long since I’ve been a winning pitcher. However, I think the team’s victory is more important than the individual’s victory, and I’m glad to contribute to that victory. It was an away game, but I was surprised and encouraged that many fans came to cheer for me. I felt so overwhelmed that they called my name out loud when the inning was replaced. Today is not the end, and I will always try to become a player who never loses his initial commitment.”

BY: 스포츠토토핫

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *