A 20-year-old national left-hander’s home run shock? “I’m not mentally weak… the next appearance is important”

“I am not mentally weak”.

KIA Tigers coach Kim Jong-guk expected a rebound from left-hander Choi Ji-min, who had recently been slowed by a series of long hits. 

On the 25th, against Changwon NC, Choi Ji-min hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the 7th inning and passed the victory. He threw a 149km fastball after a full count match with Jason Martin, but it led to a left-handed home run.  

Prior to that, in the Gwangju game against Doosan on the 21st, he passed the initiative after being hit with a sweeping triple in the middle of the right with the bases loaded with two outs. The match that influenced the flow of the game gave up long hits, and the team stagnated with 1 win and 3 losses in the second half. 

In 37 games in the first half, he boasted an ERA of 1.70 and served as a pillar of the winning team. Along with starter Lee Eui-ri, he also enjoyed the honor of being selected as a representative of the Hangzhou Asian Games.

However, it slowed down with 3 runs in 2 games in the second half. He is still a young pitcher, so he needs a lot of experience. He can sometimes grow unified towards bigger pitchers. 

Manager Kim Jong-guk explained, “It’s better than giving a walk. It was a pity that Park Gun-woo walked. He threw well, but Martin’s batting condition was good.” 

He continued, “I’ve been bad lately, but my mentality isn’t weak. It could be right. I didn’t pitch yesterday and the day before. Whether it’s today or tomorrow, the next appearance is important. I need to find confidence quickly.” 메이저놀이터

The KIA starting lineup on this day consisted of Choi Won-joon (1st baseman) Kim Do-yeong (3rd baseman) Na Seong-beom (right fielder) Choi Hyung-woo (designated hitter) Socrates (center fielder) Kim Sun-bin (2nd baseman) Lee Woo-seong (left fielder) Kim Tae-gun (catcher) Park Chan-ho (shortstop). 

The starting pitcher is Eui-ri Lee. Coach Kim hoped, “Loyalty and pitch are good. Stable control is important. I know that well. I want to play aggressively. Pitching and innings should do more than the first half.”

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