Buchanan’s ‘desperation’ to the end is something Samsung shouldn’t forget
Nine innings and 119 pitches. That’s how many innings and pitches the Samsung Lions’ “ace” David Buchanan threw in the final game of the first half. He wanted a win more than anyone.
Buchanan took the mound against the Kia Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on March 13 and pitched nine innings of four-hit ball, striking out eight and allowing one run to lead his team to a 4-1 victory. From the top of the first to the bottom of the ninth, he single-handedly recorded 27 outs.
Buchanan continued to cruise with run support from the offense. The Tigers opened the scoring in the top of the third inning on a fastball from catcher Kim Tae-gun (foil), then added two more runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run single by Kim Jae-sung. It wasn’t a big score, but it was enough to give the starting pitcher a boost.
After giving up an infield single to Socrates Brito in the bottom of the second, Buchanan retired the next 15 batters in a row, shutting down the KIA bats. In the bottom of the seventh inning, Buchanan allowed a run for the first time in a long time, but it wasn’t a hit or a walk, but an error. Na Sung-bum grounded out to shortstop and Lee Jae-hyun made a throwing error.
But Buchanan remained calm and retired Choi and Socrates on a fly ball and a grounder, respectively, to end the inning. After retiring the next three batters with two strikeouts in the bottom of the eighth, Buchanan took the mound in the top of the ninth to complete the shutout. In his KBO debut, Buchanan threw two complete games, one in 2021 and one last year.
Buchanan got the leadoff hitter, Ko Jong-wook, to ground out, but back-to-back singles by Choi Won-jun and Kim Do-young put him in trouble. The next batter, Na Sung-beom, grounded out to first base, allowing Choi Won-jun to cross the plate and Buchanan’s first run to score.
Even with the no-hitter off the table, Buchanan focused on the 27th out. With two on and one out, he struck out Choi Hyung-woo on a five-pitch pitch to the second baseman to end the three-hour game. It was the fourth career complete game for Buchanan, who has played in the KBO since 2020. While the bullpen could have taken over the mound with plenty of rest over the All-Star break, Buchanan stayed on the mound until the end.스포츠토토
Including this game, Buchanan pitched in 17 games in the first half, posting a 7-6 record with a 2.88 ERA in 109 1/3 innings. He was consistent enough to earn 11 Quality Starts (QS), which ranks second in the league behind only Ariel Hurtado (Kiwoom Heroes-111⅔ innings).
With back-to-back years of 170+ innings and 15+ wins in 2020 and 2021, Buchanan has established himself as an ace for Samsung, and last year he was even more of an ace with an 11-8 record and 3.04 ERA in 160 innings. While some may have criticized him for lacking the power of his previous two seasons, Buchanan erased the doubters with seven wins in the first half of the season alone.
Samsung, in particular, has had its ups and downs throughout the first half of the season, during which time the team has fallen to the bottom of the standings. Whenever a home game was played, a large crowd of