KIA pitcher Kim Gun-guk (35) made his first start in 1479 days and delivered an emotional pitching performance.
Kim took the mound against 꽁머니사이트LG at Jamsil Stadium on April 1. Although he didn’t live up to the five-inning, three-inning minimum that coach Kim Jong-kook had hoped for before the game, he managed to keep the LG bats to a minimum. Kim allowed two runs on two hits and two walks in 2⅔ innings (46 pitches).
After being released by Lotte after the 2021 season, Kim took a year off before joining the Kia organization following a tryout prior to this season. In 11 games (47⅓ innings) in the Futures League, he went 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA. This was his first start of the season.
Kim’s last start was on June 12, 2019, against Jamsil LG Electronics with Lotte. That was 1479 days ago. Before the game, manager Kim Jong-guk said, “It would be best if Kim Gun-gook could pitch five innings. I hope he can go at least three innings.”
The first two innings were good. The first inning started with a triple play. In the second, he walked the leadoff hitter, Austin, but retired the next three batters.
But in the third inning, we were in trouble. He gave up a leadoff triple to Hae-min Park to right-center. He then gave up a single to left to Shin Min-jae. The runner from first stole second, and the runner from second tagged up to third when Hong Chang-ki flied out to right field.
With one out, Moon Sung-joo grounded out to the second baseman, allowing the runner from third to score the second run. Two batters later, Kim was replaced by Kim Ki-hoon, who gave up a straight bunt single to Kim Hyun-soo.
Despite Kim failing to complete three innings, 메이저놀이터 추천 KIA broke the game open with a five-run fourth inning, which was followed by Kim Ki-hoon (1 1/3 scoreless innings), Park Jun-pyo (1 1/3 scoreless innings), Lee Jun-young (⅔ scoreless innings), Jeon Sang-hyun (1 1/3 scoreless innings), and Choi Ji-min (1 1/3 scoreless innings).
After the game, Kim said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been on the mound for the first team, so I was nervous and excited. I prepared with as many positive thoughts as possible and thought about the moments when I pitched well,” said Kim. His last first-team game was against Kiwoom on September 11, 2021. It had been 658 days since he had pitched for the first team.
“I focused on pitching aggressively when I approached the game today. Before the game, catcher Han Jun-soo told me that my fastball was good, and I pitched mainly with my fastball in the game. At the Futures, I worked on my fastball with coach Son Seung-rak to improve it. However, I was disappointed that I couldn’t keep my innings long.”
Kim Gun-gook said, “I wanted to play baseball so badly after taking a year off, and it was hard, but my wife gave me a lot of strength, and I was able to stand on the mound again because she cheered me on. I will continue to pitch aggressively and give my fans a good show.”