“All 5 innings except for Sanchez…” KIA starting team’s only worry, ‘ERA 6.49’ left another question mark


Foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez (29), who became the only worry for the KIA starting team, left another question mark. His earned run average soared to 6.49 as he failed to pitch more than 5 innings in 2 consecutive games. 

KIA coach Kim Jong-guk said, “Didn’t all the starters throw more than 5 innings except for Sanchez?” ahead of the match against Hanwha in Gwangju on the 6th, and said, “The starter needs to throw 5 innings to prevent bullpen overload,” and expected Sanchez to digest the innings.

As coach Kim Jong-guk said, Sanchez is the only KIA starting pitcher who failed to make more than 5 innings in 14 games in the second half. Another substitute foreign pitcher, Thomas Panoni, played 6⅔ innings in the last two games in a row, while domestic starters Yang Hyeon-jong, Lee Eui-ri, and Yoon Young-cheol were also responsible for at least 5 innings.

However, Sanchez failed to fill the 5th inning against Hanwha on the same day following the Pohang Samsung match on the 1st (7 runs in 4 innings). With 5 hits (1 home run), 4 walks, 6 strikeouts and 4 runs in 4⅓ innings, he was left with regret. He struck out 4 up to the 3rd inning and blocked no runs, but in the 4th inning he hit a solo home run by Roh Si-hwan and gave up his first run. Following a walk by Kim In-hwan and a hit by Chae Eun-seong, Ha Joo-seok gave 1 RBI and 2 bases in the continued 2nd 1st and 2nd bases, allowing a turnaround. 

In the end, I couldn’t stand the 5th. After sending Kim Tae-yeon out for a walk after one out, the runner went to third base while the changeup on the third pitch was a wild throw with an outside one-bound. With the next ball, Sanchez threw another changeup, but Noh Si-hwan broke through the forward defense of the KIA infield and connected a heavy hit at the right time. In the end, Sanchez passed the mound to Choi Ji-min without finishing the inning. 

The total number of pitches Sanchez threw on this day was 94, with 63 strikes and 31 balls. A maximum of 149km, an average of 144km, centered on fastballs (44), changeups (19), cutters (12), curves (11), sliders (8) dog) and used five types of pitches.

He struck out well, but his pitching was not overwhelming. Hanwha batters kept fouling Sanchez’s ball that was near the zone. Every inning, there was one hitter who played more than 7 pitches with Sanchez. In the first inning, Noh Si-hwan walked 8 pitches, and in the 2nd inning Choi Jae-hoon walked 9 pitches. In the 4th inning, Roh Si-hwan hit a home run after a 7-pitch game, and in the 5th inning, Kim Tae-yeon also walked on 7 pitches. 

Sanchez escaped defeat with the help of the KIA lineup, but on the 1st against Pohang Samsung, 4 innings, 10 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 4 strikeouts and 7 runs, he struggled, failing to exceed 5 innings in 2 consecutive games. His season ERA rose from 6.14 to 6.49. 꽁머니

On the 9th of last month against KT in Suwon, he had a strong debut with a victory with 5 hits (1 home run), 10 strikeouts and 1 run in 6⅓ innings, but the content of pitching is increasingly unstable. On the 26th of last month, when he won his second win, the match against Changwon NC was also not good with 9 hits in 5 innings, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts and 3 runs. It needs a period of adaptation, but KIA’s concerns have grown as it has been sluggish for the third game during the ranking fight. 

When the double kicking motion, which was a long-standing habit, became controversial, it was banned, but sluggishness has continued since then. He struck out 33 in 26⅓ innings in five games, but his batting average (.297) was close to 300. He has a high slugging percentage with 5 home runs and 10 doubles. He is not a pitcher, but in the match against Hanwha that day, he did not listen to his pitch with 4 walks. Sanchez’s rebound for the rest of the season is desperately needed for the KIA, which jumped into the 5th place with the power of the other line on fire and ranked second in the second half (8 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw, .667 win rate). 

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