It was a half success.
LG Twins reserve pitcher Lee Sang-young, 23, left both hope and challenges in his first start.
Lee Sang-young started the seventh game of the season against Samsung at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on March 13, giving up two runs on four hits, three walks and one strikeout in four innings. With a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning, he handed the mound to Yoo Young-chan for a no-decision.
I was nervous at first.
His balance was off, as if he was nervous before his comeback. He didn’t have enough velocity. His fastball only reached 141 mph. The power of his slider was also halved.
In the first inning, Kim Ji-chan singled. But Kim Hyun-jun, who hasn’t been hitting well this series, popped out to center field. Pirela followed with a well-timed fly to deep center field. Kang Min-ho struck out Kim Ji-chan at first base on a grounder to short.
In the top of the second, Kang Min-ho hit another double to center field.
However, Kim Dong-yup got Lee Jae-hyun to fly out to center field and Kim Ho-jae to ground out to the outfield to get out of the jam.
In the third inning, the balance was shaken, as the team gave up three runs on four pitches, including two hit balls and a walk. Ryu Seung-min walked, Kim Young-woong sacrificed, and Kim Ji-chan singled to put runners on first and second. Kim grounded out to first, putting runners on second and third.
Pirela threw a high fastball to Kim for a two-run double to center. 0-2.
However, the LG bats answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the deficit to 3-2.
The back-and-forth offense eased the tension that lasted until the third inning. In the top of the fourth, Lee gave up infield singles to Lee Jae-hyun and Kim Ho-jae, but he struck out Ryu Seung-min with a changeup and got Kim Young-woong to ground out to first base to end the inning. It was the fourth inning where he looked most comfortable.
In an interview in Jamsil on the 13th, his first day back with the team after his discharge from the army, Lee said, “I don’t even know how hard it is to play catch after leaving the army.” “First of all, the manager gave me a good evaluation, so I was able to pitch like this right away, but first, I need to pitch well tomorrow so that I can get my place and give the manager faith. If I pitch well, everything will be fine.” He vowed to pitch well.
However, after watching his former roommate Choi Chae-heung’s strong performance (5⅓ scoreless innings) against LG the day before, the pressure grew. “He called me and said that he felt like he was going to die from the pressure of what he would do if his brother threw like that,” Choi Chae-heung said before the game, adding, “I didn’t even realize it until the third inning. There will definitely be a lot of tension,” he laughed.
It was disappointing that he was so nervous that he didn’t show the power of an 18-win pitcher, but it was encouraging that he induced batters to hit in each inning with his deception and sharp slider.
He threw 65 pitches, with 27 fastballs and 27 sliders. His fastball only reached 141 mph. His velocity will increase in future starts as he relaxes and gains balance. Combined with his slider, he has the potential to be a difficult pitcher to catch.메이저놀이터
Before the game, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “I didn’t set a pitch count. It’s a normal starting pitcher.” However, he was nervous and had to use his bullpen up to speed in order to win the game after the team rallied from a one-run deficit. “For the next month, I will give him a chance to start unconditionally,” Yeom said. He has plenty of time to find his pace and not be impatient.