Ahn realizes how to win the ‘first eight innings’
Kiwoom ace Ahn Woo-jin pitched a season-high eight innings to earn his fifth win.
The right-hander took the mound against Samsung in the 2023 KBO League on April 22 at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, and led the team to a 2-1 victory.
On the mound, Ahn went the full eight innings and earned the win with a flawless performance that included eight hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.
What stood out was Ahn’s eight innings of work and her strikeout total.
Against the Samsung bats, Ahn was focused on setting up his pitches in the first inning. His fastball was his usual fastball, but instead of trying to overpower his opponents with a wild pitch, he used a mix of pitches that utilized the strike zone to get the bats going.
Ahn has continued to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the league this season, as he was last year, but he hasn’t had much luck.
In fact, in 13 starts prior to today’s game, he had a 1.77 ERA and was the first pitcher in the league to surpass the 100-strikeout mark, but he was just 4-4 with a win-loss record.
In other words, when Ahn was on the mound, Kiwoom’s offense was often silenced, and if they were unlucky enough to lose, they would be swept. On top of that, there have been times when a near-perfect pitching performance has been followed by a bullpen fire.
Compared to other pitchers who have been exceptional this season, Ahn’s small win total is bizarre. Along with Ahn, NC foreign pitcher Pedi, who has a sub-one ERA, has a whopping 10 wins (1 loss) in 12 games, and LG’s Plutko has nine wins in 14 games without a loss.
In the end, Ahn’s solution was to pitch longer innings. As long as the offense scored just enough runs to win, she could pitch a near perfect game and increase her chances of winning.먹튀검증
This game plan paid off. Ahn was energized when his team’s offense scored in the first inning, and by the eighth inning, he had accumulated 102 pitches and was off the mound without giving up a single run.
She struck out just three batters in the process, but was able to earn a valuable win and remain atop the strikeout leaderboard with 107.