I’m happy, thank you” KIA pitcher to ‘glasses-free’ pitcher…150km? Consciousness NO

“It feels great.”

Kia pitcher Yang Hyun-jong faced his biggest crisis in the top of the seventh inning with Gwangju LG Electronics leading 6-3 on Sunday. One out later, he gave up back-to-back singles to Park Hae-min and Hong Chang-ki. In the meantime, Jeong Ju-hyun tried to steal third base alone and was thrown out at second base, but one hit could have changed the course of the game.

Coach Kim Jong-guk decided to pull his big pitcher who had thrown over 100 pitches (102). He may not have had to think much about it because he had this pitcher. Choi Ji-min, a second-year lefty with the best stuff in the bullpen at the moment. He hadn’t pitched since the 26th, so he was even more available.

Choi made wild improvements to his mechanics while playing for the Geelong Korea of the Australian Professional Baseball League, increasing his velocity and confidence at the same time. His fastball, which had been in the low-to-mid 140s, reached 149-150 mph. His average velocity has risen to the mid 140s, making him an untouchable.

On this day, he was also full of confidence. He gave up a straight ball to Moon Sung-ju that was not in the zone, but there was a strong sense of strategic avoidance. The follow-up hitter, Oh Ji-hwan, hasn’t been hitting well lately. Unlike Moon, who is a left-handed hitter, Oh is a right-handed hitter, but Choi Ji-min is now confident enough to drive a slider to the right side of the plate. In fact, Choi induced a fly ball to center field that was missed by Oh to end the inning.

He retired Austin Dean, Hyun-Soo Kim, and Bo-Kyung Moon on 16 pitches in the eighth inning. He threw only one changeup, but his low-90s fastball and slider were more than enough to be the eighth-inning setup man. “Ji-min Choi has been one of the most outstanding bullpen pitchers in the league this season,” said KBS N Sports commentator Park Yong-taek.

SPOTV commentator Oh Jae-won said that he could be the “big pitcher without glasses”. Yang Hyun-jong, the “original” pitcher who watched Choi Ji-min’s pitching from the dugout after he was struck out, was also pleased. As it turned out, Choi Ji-min had put the final nail in Yang Hyun-jong’s coffin as the KBO’s all-time wins leader (162).

“After I came down, I saw Jimin and (Jung) Hae-young, and there was a sense of urgency. Honestly, we came down with the win requirement, so we were desperate for a winning pitcher. They did a good job. I’m happy for Jimin. I’m grateful. The middle pitchers are doing a good job even when the team is not doing well. They’re making their own place. It’s great to see young pitchers like Ji-min trying to compete and make a name for themselves.”

Choi Ji-min was also conscious of Yang Hyun-jong’s attempt to reach 162 wins. “It became a ritual,” he said, “and I thought, ‘I’ve got to stop this guy in front of me.’ I didn’t panic. I was confident that I could stop him. Even if the batters make mistakes, I can block them well. I’m confident when I’m in a big situation,” she said.

Choi has now gone 17 consecutive games without allowing a run, from April 20 against Lotte to April 27 against LG Electronics in Gwangju. His batting average in May is just 0.146, compared to 0.244 in April, and his recent pace is at its peak. He has established himself as the main setup man. “Getting my first hold at Jamsil LG Electronics (April 29, 2 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 1 strikeout) was crucial. Pil-Seung-jo went out on a break, and I gained confidence after that.” 메이저놀이터

Choi Ji-min became the closer and was promoted to the main setup man. “I throw my changeup confidently. My fastball is 150 kilometers, but I’m not conscious of that. I want to do my best in the given situation.”

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