‘Shocking’ 7-run outbursts in 2 straight games…first humiliation for pitcher…what’s wrong?
For the second straight game, a big league pitcher has been shut out, and for the first time since his debut. Yang gave up seven runs on 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings against the SSG Landers at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on July 7. He was hoping for a rebound after suffering an early setback with nine runs in two innings against the Busan Lotte on April 2, but his hopes turned to disappointment.
KIA manager Kim Jong-kook said of Yang’s performance, “The last game was an unexpected result. He was probably shocked too,” but added, “I believe he will pitch well today. I hope he will return to his usual form.” He did not hide his faith in the ace.
Following a triple in the first inning, Yang Hyun-jong seemed to lay the foundation for a smooth rebound by overcoming the first and second base crisis in the second inning. The batting lineup, which had been plagued by empty bases in each of its appearances, also started scoring early with back-to-back home runs by Socrates and Choi Hyung-woo in the first inning.
However, Yang Hyun-jong was inexplicably shaken from the third inning. He led off the inning with back-to-back doubles, then scored three runs on a sacrifice fly, an infield hit, a walk, and a hit batter. The KIA bats took the lead again in the bottom of the third inning with Socrates’ back-to-back home runs, but Yang Hyun-jong gave up three runs again in the top of the fourth inning with four straight hits. In the fifth, Oh’s initially foul pitch was overturned as a double when it was deemed to have crossed the line, and a sacrifice bunt brought in a second run for the seventh run. Yang was forced to leave the game after five innings.
Yang’s average fastball velocity on the day was 141 kilometers, with a high of 147 kilometers. Of his 85 pitches, 53 were fastballs, with a mix of sliders (15) and changeups (17). Seung-taek Han, the designated catcher, sat in the bullpen. But the SSG hitters seemed to have been waiting for him, taking one pitch after another.
This is the first time Yang Hyun-jong, who was selected by KIA in the second round of the 2007 rookie draft, has recorded seven earned runs in two consecutive games. In 2011 (6⅓ innings against Lotte on May 13, 4⅔ innings against LG Electronics on May 19), 2016 (5⅓ innings against Samsung Electronics on August 5, 7 innings against Nexen on August 11), and 2017 (4⅔ innings against Doosan on May 20, 5⅓ innings against Lotte on May 26), 2019 (6 runs in 6 innings against KT on March 29, 7 runs in 2 innings against Samsung on April 4), and 2020 (6 runs in 5 innings against Samsung on October 24, 6 runs in 5⅓ innings against Doosan on October 29). 메이저놀이터
It was a night where we expected to see the pitcher bounce back in the next game, but the result was another tear.