‘Wow! 10K’ Sanchez’s KBO sensation debut, KIA Pajuk’s 5-game winning streak snapped… KT 4연패 수렁 [수원 현장리뷰]…

Behind a strong debut from new foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez and a two-run performance from Na Sung-bum, the KIA Tigers swept the KT Wiz to extend their winning streak to five games.

The KIA Tigers won their 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away game 5-1 against the KT Wiz (18,700 seats sold out) at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on 9 September.

The win was KIA’s fifth straight, improving their record to 35 wins, one draw and 38 losses. KIA jumped to sixth place, one game clear of seventh-placed Kiwoom. They have four games in hand on third-placed Doosan, two on fourth-placed Lotte and one on fifth-placed NC. KT, on the other hand, slumped to a fourth straight defeat with 34 wins, two draws and 41 losses. They sit in eighth place, one point ahead of ninth-placed Hanwha with no games in hand. Kiwoom has one game in hand. Now, after a break on Monday (10), KIA will travel to Gwangju for a three-game home series against the Samsung Lions, while KT will end its first-half schedule with a three-game series against the Kiwoom Heroes at the Gocheok Sky Dome.

KIA’s starting batting order is Choi Won-jun (first base), Kim Do-young (third base), Na Sung-beom (right field), Choi Hyung-woo (left field), Socrates (centre field), Ko Jong-wook (designated hitter), Kim Sun-bin (second base), Kim Tae-gun (catcher) and Park Chan-ho (shortstop). The starting pitcher is Mario Sanchez. KIA had used two foreign pitchers on the last six days, one of which was Sanchez.

Before the game, KIA manager Kim Jong-guk said, “I won’t limit the number of pitches. We’ll go as long as we can, up to 90-100 pitches,” he said before the game. When asked about the future of another foreign pitcher, Panoni, he said, “He is currently in Gwangju doing weight training and pitching in the bullpen. We have to wait and see if he gets a work visa. If the visa comes through, I think he will be able to pitch on Wednesday or Thursday next week.”

KT’s starting batting order is Kim Min-hyuk (left fielder), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Park Byung-ho (first baseman), Jang Sung-woo (catcher), Lee Ho-yeon (second baseman), Alford (designated hitter), Ahn Chi-young (right fielder), and Bae Jeong-dae (centre fielder). The starting pitcher was exclusionary.

Prior to the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said of Lee’s call-up, “He had three hits in the second team game the day before, and he said there was no big shock (when he hit). He said he had a little pain, but he was able to play well enough, so I called him up.” Lee was injured in a game against his hometown team Lotte on the 21st of last month. She was hit in the nose by a ball she hit and broke her nose. However, he recovered quickly without surgery and was called up and started on the same day.
◆ KIA’s new foreign pitcher Sanchez, who played in Taiwan, pitched 6⅓ innings with 5 hits (1 home run), 10 strikeouts, and 1 run (1 earned) in his KBO debut.온라인바카라
KIA’s Sanchez made his debut in front of the KBO fans. His pitching performance was very impressive and made the KIA fans excited. On the other hand, KT batters facing Sanchez for the first time had more difficulties due to unfamiliarity. Sanchez took it to the extreme, stepping on the left end of the plate and spraying his pitches.

In the first inning, Sanchez gave up a leadoff single to Kim Min-hyuk, but he struck out Kim Sang-soo on three pitches and then threw out Hwang Jae-gyun stealing second base in the next at-bat. He then froze Hwang Jae-gyun with a six-pitch strikeout to end the first inning. Sanchez then began to settle into his rhythm perfectly. In the bottom of the second, he struck out leadoff hitter Park Byung-ho on a five-pitch walk and then retired the next batter, Jang Jang-woo, on a four-pitch swinging strike. He then induced Lee Ho-yeon to ground out to second base on the first pitch to end the inning.

The third inning was just as clean with a triple play. Alford flied out to left field on five pitches, Ahn Chi-young grounded out to shortstop on three pitches, and Bae Jeong-dae struck out on four pitches. Sanchez chose a slider for both Alford and Choi, which had a nice angle to it that made it look like a sweeper to the right-hander. “It’s a mix of slider and sweeper,” Sanchez told reporters after the game.

Sanchez’s dominance continued. However, in the bottom of the fourth inning, the umpires called Sanchez for a double, which prompted Kim to speak to the umpires. However, Sanchez stuck with his pitches. He induced leadoff hitter Kim Min-hyuk to ground out to second on six pitches, then got Kim Sang-soo to ground out to third on three pitches. He then gave up a double to Hwang Jae-gyun that landed just inside the left-field line, but struck out Park Byung-ho on a full count with a six-pitch swinging strikeout to keep the scoreless streak alive. The pitch that got Park out was also a slider, but Sanchez gave up his first big hit in the fifth inning. After striking out leadoff hitter Jang Jang-woo on six pitches, Lee Ho-yeon stepped up to the plate. On a 1-2 pitch count, Lee took a four-pitch fastball and smashed it over the right field fence for a solo shot. It was Lee’s second home run of the season after being called up. But Sanchez would not be rattled. He got Alford to ground out to third and Ahn Chi-Young to strike out swinging to end the fifth.

Sanchez took the mound in the sixth. Again, the bases were loaded, with the leadoff batter striking out and Kim Min-hyuk flying out to centre field. After giving up a hit to Kim Sang-soo, Hwang Jae-gyun stepped up to the plate. At this point, Sanchez threw a blocking pitch at Kim Sang-soo, prompting manager Lee Kang-cheol to run onto the field and protest to the umpires. He was protesting about Sanchez’s blocking motion. After Sanchez threw a few more pitches at first base, he finally struck out Hwang Jae-gyun for the final out. The KIA fans gathered at KT Wiz Park chanted Sanchez’s name.

Sanchez also took the mound at Wiz Park in the bottom of the seventh inning after Na Sung-bum hit a two-run homer to give KIA a 5-1 lead. He induced leadoff hitter Park Byung-ho to ground into a double play, then gave up a single to Jang Sung-woo. That was it. He handed the mound over to Ji-min Choi to complete his debut.

Sanchez finished the day with 6⅓ innings, five hits (one home run), 10 strikeouts, and one run (one earned). He threw 88 pitches. He threw an even mix of 43 fastballs, 20 sliders (123-113 mph), 12 cutters (131-134 mph), six curves (122-124 mph), five changeups (131-133 mph) and two two-seam fastballs (146 mph each). His fastball topped out at 147km (low 142km), and he was particularly good with his fastball, which generated 34 strikes and nine balls, for a total of 62 strikes and 26 balls. Jimin Choi then struck out both Lee and Alford to keep Sanchez’s ERA at ‘1’.
Between Sanchez’s sensational performance on the mound and Na Sung-bum’s two-run blast as a “wedge in the game” in the batting order, KIA’s batters also stepped up. In the first inning, Kim Do-young picked up a straight ball against KT starter Choi Yeo-seong. He then induced Na Sung-bum to ground out to third base and gave up a single to Choi Hyung-woo, but got Socrates to ground out to first base.

KIA scored two runs in the second inning. Go Jong-wook led off with a single to left and moved to second on a wild pitch by Choi Jeong-seong. Kim Sun-bin flied out to right field. Kim Tae-gyun singled to right field to put runners on first and third, and when Park Chan-ho grounded out to second, Ko Jong-wook came home. KT was unfortunate that Lee Ho-yeon couldn’t turn it into a double play at once. Park Chan-ho stole second and came home on Choi Won-joon’s single to left-centre to make it 2-0.

After that, the bats started to come alive. In the top of the third, he struck out KIA’s clean-up trio. In the fourth, they induced Ko Jong-wook to ground out to second, Kim Sun-bin to ground out to shortstop, and Kim Tae-gun to ground out to third to end the inning. The fifth inning was also a triple play. Park Chan-ho and Choi Won-joon grounded out to second base and Kim Do-young struck out looking.

But in the top of the sixth, KIA added another run. One out later, Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates hit back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second. At this point, KT opted to use Son Dong-hyun instead of removing him from the lineup. As soon as Son took the mound, he threw four pitches in a row to Ko Jong-wook. A golden opportunity. Here, Kim Sun-bin hit a single off the glove of third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun into the left field corner to make it 3-1. With the run, Choi became the seventh player in KBO history to reach 1,200 runs scored. However, Kim Tae-gun was retired in order in front of the shortstop to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, KIA drove in the winning run. With two outs and no runners on base. After Kim Do-young fouled off four consecutive pitches after an initial strike, KT brought in pitcher Park Young-hyun. Na Sung-bum was the next batter. Park Young-hyun threw three pitches in a row after an initial foul. Against the unfavourable pitch count, Na Sung-bum hit a 145km five-pitch fastball for a two-run arch over the centre-field fence directly over the wall. It was Na’s sixth home run of the season. KT removed Park Young-hyun in the top of the eighth inning and brought up Joo-Kwon. Joo walked Socrates, Ko Jong-wook, and Kim Sun-bin. In the eighth inning, KIA still had Choi Ji-min on the mound. He induced leadoff hitter Moon Sang-chul to fly out to left field and then struck out Choi Byung-dae to load the bases with two outs. However, three consecutive singles to Kim Min-hyuk and Kim Sang-soo quickly put runners on first and third, prompting KIA to bring up closer Jeon Sang-hyun. The next batter was Hwang Jae-gyun. It was Jeon’s day. He struck out the side on four pitches to end the threat without allowing a run. After Kia retired the side in order in the top of the ninth, they held on to their lead in the bottom of the ninth.

Sanchez was followed by Choi Ji-min (1⅓ scoreless innings) and Jeon Sang-hyun (1⅓ innings) to secure the win. Choi Hyung-woo led the way with a multi-hit performance in the eight-hit line-up. For KT, Son Dong-hyun (1 run in 1⅓ innings), Park Young-hyun (1 run in 1⅓ innings), and Joo Kwon (2 scoreless innings) pitched in order of exclusion. In the batting line-up, which pounded out eight hits, Kim Min-hyuk, Kim Sang-soo and Jang Jang-woo all recorded multi-hit games.

After the game, ‘Seungjang’ manager Kim Jong-guk said, “It feels good to finish our nine-game road trip well. Sanchez, who made his KBO League debut today, did a great job as a starting pitcher. He pitched effectively with a stable delivery. He had a variety of pitches and good game management skills. We look forward to seeing him perform well in the second half.”

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