LG Twins left-hander Young-gun Kim Yoon-sik gave his team hope with an improved performance in his first start in nearly three months.
Kim Yun-sik pitched five innings of six-hit ball with one walk and three strikeouts in Game 12 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Hanwha Eagles at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on June 2.
It had been 86 days since Kim took the mound for the first time since June 8 against the Jamsil Kiwoom Heroes (5 innings, 12 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts). He spent nearly three months in the second team to get back into shape after struggling with a 3-4 record and a 5.29 ERA in 11 games this season.
Kim Yun-sik struggled with leaving runners on base in every inning, but he showed excellent crisis management skills. In the top of the first inning, he got Hanwha’s No. 4 hitter, Chae Eun-sung, to ground out to second base to end the inning.
In the top of the second inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Jang Jin-hyuk with runners on first and second. Catcher Park Dong-won helped Kim Yun-sik by making an accurate throw to stop Jang’s attempted steal of second base, and Kim Yun-sik promptly struck out Park Sang-un to end the inning.
In the top of the third, leadoff hitter Lee Do-yoon singled, but Park Dong-won was once again Kim Yoon-sik’s guardian angel. Lee’s attempt to steal second base was caught by Park’s accurate throw, allowing Kim to pitch comfortably.
Kim Yun-sik then got himself out of a jam in the top of the fourth inning by getting Kim Tae-yeon to ground into a 3-2-3-1 double play. With two outs in the top of the fifth, he got Jung Eun-won to ground out to first base to end the inning. He topped out at 80 pitches, mixing in a fastball that touched 94 mph with a slider, changeup and curveball.
While LG’s 3-5 loss to Hanwha was a stinging end to their winning streak, Kim’s pitching performance was a big win. Kim Yun-sik showed the kind of performance that LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop had hoped for before the game.
LG was without its ace, Plutko, who was scratched from the first-team roster on March 29 with a left pelvic bone contusion. He is expected to take four to five weeks to return to the field, putting a damper on the team’s chances of qualifying for the Korean Series.스포츠토토
Yeom believes that if Kim Yun-sik can regain the performance he had in the second half of last year (5-2, 2.68 ERA in 11 games), the team can fill Plutko’s gap and get closer to winning the regular season.
Before the second game, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “Kim Yoon-sik needs to do well. Kim Yoon-sik is the key to (fall baseball).” “If Kim Yoon-sik does well, I don’t think I’ll think of Plutko. On the contrary, if Kim Yun-sik doesn’t do well, I can’t help but feel sorry for Plutko’s injury.”
For now, Kim Yun-sik made a successful comeback. If he continues to perform well in the remaining games of the second half, LG’s path to the Korean Series will be easier than it has been in 21 years.