Why did 153km left-hander Young Gun “blame himself” for saving the Kia in crisis?
KIA left-hander Lee Yi-ri, 21, was the saviour of the Tigers, who were facing the prospect of a sweep.
Lee started the game against Lotte in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on 4 April and pitched five innings of two-hit ball. He allowed four walks but struck out eight to keep the Lotte bats from scoring.
Behind Lee’s performance, KIA cruised to a 6-0 victory and snapped a two-game losing streak. The damage was done the previous day (3rd) with a 5-6 shutout loss to Lotte, so the win was a welcome relief from the heartbreak of a shutout loss.스포츠토토
There were some close calls, but they didn’t turn into runs. Lee got out of a jam in the bottom of the fourth inning when Han Dong-hee hit a ball into left field, putting runners on second and third, but Lee struck out Noh Jin-hyuk on three pitches to end the threat. The ball that struck out Noh was a 150km fastball. The fifth inning was no different. Lee struck out Yoon Dong-hee on a full count with a 148-kilometre fastball and got Jeon Jun-woo to fly out to the first baseman, showing that he was not shaken by the crisis.
Lee did not allow a single run to the Lotte batters on the day, with his powerful fastball reaching a maximum velocity of 153km/h. Lee, who has been boasting a fastball this season, attributed his velocity to his training, saying, “I feel like I’m able to use my power well because I keep getting a lot of training.”
In fact, if he hadn’t thrown 104 pitches in the fifth inning, he would have been able to continue pitching in the sixth. “In a way, it’s my fault. I threw a lot of pitches,” he said, “but I was in trouble early on and I was putting strikes together in the middle, and I was disappointed that I wasn’t more aggressive. I should have been more focused,” he said. After Lee, Kia turned to Lim Ki-young for three innings to keep Lotte at bay.
The support of the Kia fans who travelled to the game as punishment for her resignation was also a big boost for Lee. There were 22,990 fans in attendance at Sajik Stadium, and the Kia fans were quite loud. Lee expressed his gratitude to the Kia fans who came to the stadium, saying, “I feel like there were a lot of real fans here, so I’m really grateful, and the support was very encouraging.”