Kim Jae-yeol “wasn’t too nervous” as he pitched four innings in a chaotic atmosphere.

Despite the unexpected turn of events in the first inning, the KIA Tigers’ Kim Jae-yeol remained calm on the mound. He delivered his best pitch of the season in an unplanned appearance.

KIA won its fifth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against KT Wiz 6-2 at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on July 7, extending its winning streak to three games and improving its record to 33-1, 38 (.465) on the season.

The result was a victory for KIA, but the process was not smooth. In the bottom of the first inning, with runners on second and third, KIA starter Kim Gun-gook threw a pitch to Park Byung-ho that was aimed at his head, but the umpires agreed and ruled it a ball to the body. In accordance with the rules, Kim was ejected for a head shot and handed the mound over to the bullpen.

At this point, KIA called up Kim Jae-yeol as the second pitcher. As it was an unscheduled appearance, Kim Jae-yeol took the mound and threw for about three to four minutes to warm up, and when he faced the first batter, Jang Jang-woo, he got a fly ball to right field to end the threat of runners on second and third.

Kim gave up a run in the second inning on Jang’s RBI single and a run in the third on Jang’s sacrifice fly, but he worked the next four innings until the bottom of the fifth. He also played the longest inning in a single game (3⅔ innings against the Gwangju SSG Landers on June 16, 2021) and threw the most pitches (54 pitches against the Gochuk Kiwoom Heroes on June 25, 2021). After throwing 80 pitches, Kim Jae-yeol’s performance was four hits, two walks, three strikeouts, and two runs.

Thanks to his minimization of runs, KIA challenged KT with a bullpen battle after the midway point of the game, and both Kim Jae-yeol and KIA had smiles on their faces as the team came away with the win. “In a difficult situation where our starting pitcher had to leave the mound early due to unforeseen circumstances, Kim Jae-yeol did a great job in the fourth inning. He played a big role in the team’s victory,” and applauded Jae-yeol’s pitching.

After the game, Kim Jae-yeol said, “I tried to stay as calm as possible as I was suddenly on the mound, and I wasn’t too nervous because I had been preparing beforehand.”메이저놀이터

“At the end of the second inning, (catcher) Kim Tae-gun told me in the dugout to be aggressive with the opposing batters right before I took the mound, and that gave me some psychological stability,” he said.

While it wasn’t easy to get a chance in the first team, Jae-yeol continued to get “starter’s lessons” in the Futures League. He started all 11 games, sometimes going as long as six or seven innings in a game. This season, Jae-yeol’s Futures League record is 4-2 with a 2.29 ERA in 11 games and 55 innings pitched.

“I recently received starting lessons in the second team, and I didn’t have any anxiety about long innings,” said Kim. “In today’s game, I thought I would pitch a maximum of four innings rather than a long inning, and I think pitching my heart out every inning helped the team win.”

After his best pitching day, Kim Jae-yeol is determined to do his part again. “I will be a player who is prepared to go out at any time, just like today,” he said.

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