After 12 days on the mound, KIA Tigers left-hander Lee “Young Gun” Lee was pulled after less than two innings. His team,메이저사이트 KIA, and the national baseball team, which is preparing for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, were worried.
Lee started the game against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park on April 21 and struggled, giving up five runs (four earned) on two hits, three walks and three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. The team fell to 8-14, snapping a seven-game losing streak.
Earlier, Lee started the second game of a doubleheader against the LG Twins at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Sept. 9. After 4⅓ innings, Lee was deemed unable to continue pitching due to a callous on his left middle finger and handed the mound over to Kim Dae-yu.
Lee, who was subsequently removed from the first-team roster, spent 10 days recovering and made his final start before joining the Asian Games squad, which included a visit from national team coach Ryu Jung-il to watch him pitch. It was a crucial game for both the team and the national team, who were looking to end a six-game losing streak.
It was a crisp start. Lee struck out Hanwha’s table-setters Lee Jin-young and Choi In-ho in the first inning, and he also struck out “30-homer hitter” Noh Si-hwan to end the inning with 14 pitches. Up until this point, things were going well.
However, Lee walked leadoff hitter Nick Williams in the bottom of the inning and then hit Chae Eun-sung with a pitch to put runners on first and second. The next batter, Kim Tae-yeon, managed to induce a grounder, but Kim Do-young, who caught the ball, was a little late and threw to second base for an infield single. All of the bases were then loaded.
With the bases loaded, Lee Yi-ri hit a full-count single to right field off Jung Eun-won, bringing home Williams from third and Chae Eun-sung from second. The bats didn’t help Lee either. With runners on first and third, Lee’s grounder to second allowed third baseman Kim Tae-yeon to score, but first baseman Jung Eun-won was thrown out at the plate, and shortstop Kim Kyu-sung, who received the throw from the second baseman, made a bad throw, allowing the runners to advance. Meanwhile, Lee rounded second base and reached third.
Lee then gave up a walk to Choi Jae-hoon to load the bases, which prompted the KIA bench to make a decisive move. Yoon’s second pitcher, Jung-hyun Yoon, who worked the first 1-3 bases, also allowed the tying run to score on a fastball (foil) and a single from catcher Kim Tae-gun after Lee Jin-young’s straight hit to shortstop. Prior to this game, Lee had only pitched two innings or less once this season, on May 25, and it was against the same opponent and location.
A result is a result, but it’s the quality of the performance that bothers me. I was well-rested and refreshed, but I wasn’t 100% with my pitches, either. I was a long way from my best form. It’s inevitable that my confidence will drop.
In addition, foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez, who made his comeback from injury that day, also pitched below expectations, giving up five runs on seven hits (one home run) with one strikeout in 2⅔ innings. With no hope for fall baseball, it’s hard to see KIA staying in the top five at this rate.
Naturally, the national baseball team, which will begin training on the 23rd, has its work cut out for it.
On the same day, the Korea Baseball Softball Association (KBSA) Performance Enhancement Committee and the KBO Power Enhancement Committee confirmed the replacement of two of the 24 members of the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team who were injured or recovering from injuries but were deemed unable to perform normally during the tournament. Outfielder Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) and left-handed pitcher Koo Chang-mo (NC Dinos), who were withdrawn due to injury, were replaced by outfielder Kim Sung-yoon (Samsung Lions) and left-handed pitcher Kim Young-gyu (NC).
The KBO also hinted at the possibility of additional replacements, saying, “In addition to the two players, the Power Enhancement Committee will closely examine the physical condition of other representative players and make additional replacements if it is determined that their performance has deteriorated due to injury.”
The fact that the head coach personally visited the field to check the condition of the players just before the summit means that the national team is also nervous about Lee’s wicket and pitching. It remains to be seen whether the national team will stick with Lee or find a replacement with just a day to go before the start of domestic training.