Lee Jong-min (23) delivered his best pitching performance since his debut

Baseball’s Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jong-min (23) delivered his best pitching performance since his debut.

Lee started the game against SSG Landers in the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, South Korea, on April 18 and allowed one run on three hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in five innings.

After getting both Park Sung-hwan and Oh Tae-gon to ground out in the top of the first inning, Lee struck out Choi Jung to start the game with a triple play. In the second, he got Guillermo Heredia to fly out to center field and struck out both Han Yoo-seom and Ha Jae-hoon.

Lee Jong-min gave up a leadoff triple to Lee Ji-young in the third inning. He then gave up an RBI single to Go Myung-joon, giving up the go-ahead run. But Ahn struck out Sang-hyun and Park Sung-hyun and got Oh Tae-gon to fly out to center field to end the threat. In the fourth, 스포츠토토 Choi walked the leadoff hitter and gave up a single to Heredia, but he struck out Han Yoo-seom and induced a 6-4-3 double play to Ha Jae-hoon to escape the jam.

After leading off the fifth with a walk to Lee Ji-young,

Lee Jong-min got Ko Myung-joon to pop out to first base and induced a groundout to Ahn Sang-hyun. Park Sung-hwan induced a grounder to shortstop to end the inning with the tying run at the plate. Kiwoom was replaced by Cho Young-gun in the sixth inning with the score 0-1 and finished his outing. Kiwoom fell to 0-3 after allowing the extra run while the bats went silent. It was his second straight loss and 13th straight home loss.

Lee threw 75 pitches, including a fastball (47), curveball (14), changeup (10), and slider (4). His fastball topped out at 142 kilometers per hour and his average velocity was 138, but he was able to throw his changeup at the right time to keep SSG hitters off-balance. He kept his strike rate at 62.7%. The five innings tied his personal best for innings pitched in a single game, following his previous best against Sajik Lotte on April 1 and Gocheok Doosan on April 7. He also broke his personal record for most strikeouts in a game with seven. He struck out three batters with his changeup, two with his fastball, and two with his curveball.

After joining Kiwoom as a second-round pick in the 2020 Rookie Draft,

Jong-min made his first-team debut in 2021, but didn’t make much of an impact. Last season, he was primarily used as a relief pitcher, going 1-0 with a 7.24 ERA in 11 games (13⅔ innings). This season, Lee Jong-min has also struggled a bit. Prior to this game, he was 2-2 with a 7.90 ERA in three games (13⅔ innings). However, he showed promise in this game, striking out a whopping seven batters.

In an interview before the game, manager Hong Won-ki said, “Lee Jong-min is competing for the fifth spot in the 10-day rotation with Jeon Jun-pyo. Even when he went down to the second team, he kept checking his record. His last start wasn’t that good, but he keeps checking it. 온라인 슬롯 We’ve prepared a five-man rotation, so hopefully he’ll give us good competition and pitch well.”

It will be interesting to see if Lee Jong-min, who pitched his best game since his debut despite not receiving run support, can fulfill his potential in the future.

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