‘4G consecutive clean sheets’ Choi Ji-Kang is back…”I’ll give it my all like my seniors”

Doosan Bears right-handed reliever Choi Ji-kang is back on track.

Choi threw 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief against the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday, totaling 20 pitches. His steady innings helped the Eagles to an 8-3 victory and a third straight win, earning him the win.

Kwak took the mound as the team’s second pitcher after Kwak Bin (four innings, three runs) left early. In the top of the fifth, a walk and a throwing error by shortstop Kim Jae-ho put runners on first and second with no outs. He calmly extinguished the fire. He then induced a walk to Williams to put runners on second and third. Choi got out of the inning with a pitcher’s interference.

Choi Ji-gang took the mound in the top of the sixth. He retired the leadoff hitter, Jang Jin-hyuk, on a fly ball to left field. He handed the mound over to Kim Myung-shin.

Choi joined Doosan as a developmental player last year and struggled with a 21.60 ERA in two games and 1⅔ innings. This year, he started to break through. In the first month of the season, April, he went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA in 12 games and 10⅔ innings, but faltered in May with a 13.50 ERA in four games and a 54.00 ERA in one game in June.

He was eventually removed from the roster on June 4. He spent 84 days with the second team to rebuild. He was called up to the first team on June 27. He made his comeback on June 6 against the KIA. He had a streak of four consecutive scoreless appearances before that day. He went five innings and earned a win. His season record now stands at 2-1 with a 5.12 ERA in 21 games and 19⅓ innings pitched.

Choi commented on his performance, saying, “I’m pretty happy with my pitching except for the leadoff hitter. While I was in the second team, I tried to reduce the number of balls that were pushed to the right side and became balls, and it seems to have worked,” he said. However, I think winning leadoff batters and reducing strikeouts are still a challenge.”

It was the second win of the season for Choi, who hadn’t won in a long time after pitching ⅔ scoreless innings against Lotte on April 1, the opening day. “Then and now, I’m more satisfied that I didn’t bother the team than I am with my individual victory,” Choi said. “We’re competing in fall baseball, so I can feel the seniors giving their all and focusing on every game. I’m trying to do the same and do my best with every pitch.”메이저사이트

Prior to the season, Choi set goals for himself to make the Opening Day roster and reach 150 kilometers per hour on his fastball. “I achieved both, but I think it’s the beginning, not the end. Now I’m aiming for 155 kilometers per hour,” he said, adding, “I want to stay on the roster until the end of the season and contribute a little bit to fall baseball.”