It’s not easy.
Samsung Lions left-hander Choi Chae-heung started against the Kia Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on June 19 at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu.
Choi, who was discharged from the military on June 12, pitched 5.1 innings of three-hit ball with two walks and two strikeouts against the LG Twins in Jamsil on June 13.
Photo by Chun Jung-hwan
Photo by Chun Jeong-hwan
메이저사이트 However, he fell short of expectations. Except for his comeback game, he did not show any impressive pitches. He had a 7.56 ERA in one loss in June and a 6.75 ERA in one loss in July. After struggling in two games in August, giving up four runs in five innings and five runs (four earned) in five innings, Choi was sent down to the second team after the Jamsil Doosan Bears game on August 8 to regroup.
With ten days to recharge his batteries, Choi took the mound for the first time in 11 days and delivered the performance Samsung manager Park Jin-man was hoping for. He recorded his first quality start of the season (6 innings, 3 earned runs or less) with 6 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts, and 2 runs allowed. It was 673 days since his last start against the Kiwoom Heroes on October 15, 2021 (a two-run loss in six innings), before he went to the military.
Choi got Park Chan-ho and Choi Won-joon to fly out to left field in the first inning before giving up a single to Na Sung-beom and a walk to Choi Hyung-woo. He struck out Socrates Brito on a wild pitch. In the second inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Kim Sun-bin but retired Lee Chang-jin and Kim Tae-gun on a fly ball to right field.
In the third, he struck out Kim Do-young on a wild pitch and gave up an infield single to Park Chan-ho. In the fourth, he gave up a sacrifice fly to Kim Sun-bin with runners on second and third, but no further damage was done. The fifth and sixth innings were clean, three-hit shutout innings.
In the seventh inning, Choi Chae-heung took the mound and gave up a double to Socrates before handing the ball to right-hander Lee Seung-hyun. With a 5-1 lead, Choi walked off the mound with a smile on his face.
Photo by Chun Jeong-hwan
But then the nightmare began. Lee struck out the first batter, Kim Sun-bin, with a grounder to second base. He induced Lee Chang-jin to ground out to shortstop, but Kim Dong-jin’s error prevented him from recording an out. Lee Jae-ik came to the plate. As soon as Lee came up, he was hit by a two-run home run by pinch-hitter Lee Woo-sung.
That wasn’t the end of it. He gave up a triple to Kim Do-young and a tying single to Park Chan-ho to make it 5-5. Choi Chae-heung’s win was blown. Lee Jae-ik went down and Lee Sang-min came up. Sang-min grounded out to Na Sung-beom, but Park Chan-ho, who was at third base, came home to tie the game. No more runs were scored, but the momentum had already shifted in KIA’s favor. In the end, Samsung lost 5-6, ending their three-game winning streak.
Nine games after the demobilization, the team is still winless. Three losses and an ERA of 6.64. After a nightmare 7th inning, can Choi Chae-heung get the win in his next outing? He didn’t get the win, but it was definitely a pitch to look forward to in his next outing.