“I want to stay confident” I throw a 150km+ fastball… but I feel ‘sorry’ for myself.

“I always feel sorry for my brothers.”

Eight strikeouts and his fifth win of the season. However, KIA Tigers’ Lee Yi-ri (21) was full of regret.

The Tigers swept the Lotte Giants 6-0 on 4 April at Sajik Stadium in Busan. Lee Yi-ri and Lim Ki-young shut down the Lotte batting order, and in the top of the sixth inning, the Socrates and other batters combined for eight hits and six runs in a big inning.안전놀이터

However, Lee was not satisfied in the postgame meeting. He was unhappy with his pitch count of 104 pitches in five innings.

“I feel sorry for my seniors and brothers because I always spend too much time fielding. Thank you for your support (at the plate),” he said.

Now in his third year as a professional, Lee hasn’t stopped growing. His fastball reached 153 kilometres on the day. This season, his fastball has topped out at 155km and he consistently throws in the low 140km range every game. When asked for his secret, he said, “I’ve been training a lot and I’ve gained strength in the ball. I think I’m better than last year in terms of power,” he said.

He tends to get out of trouble by striking out. Again, eight of his 15 outs were strikeouts. He also got out of a jam in the fourth inning when an unfortunate fielding error put runners on second and third.

“Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult and sometimes it’s good (to get a strikeout). I try to keep my confidence up,” Lee explained. As for his performance, Lee said, “I don’t prepare for anything in particular, but I just go with the pitches I feel good with. And I always try to be aggressive with my pitches.”

With so many runs scored in the top of the sixth inning, there was a lot to think about in the bottom of the inning. This weekend’s series was a bullpen drain.

However, Kia manager Kim Jong-guk decided against it and opted to give his ‘reliable man’ Lim Ki-young three innings. In addition to the 100-pitch count, he also took into account that Lee was pitching twice a week. On the 30th of last month, Lee threw 100 pitches in five innings against the KT Wiz.

“I tried to pitch as comfortably as possible…it’s my fault. I had a crisis in the early innings, and I had good strikes in the middle, so I should have been more aggressive.” “I should have focused on pitches one by one in the fifth inning, but I didn’t. If I had finished a little cleaner, I could have gone to the sixth,” he said.

KIA is a team with a lot of lefties, from the starters (Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Yi-ri, Yoon Young-chul) to the bullpen (Choi Ji-min, Lee Jun-young). Lee said, “I listen to senior Yang Hyun-jong’s advice. We don’t talk about anything in particular among the younger players,” he said, adding, “(Choi Ji-min Yoon) hasn’t struggled yet, and he’s doing well. It makes me want to compete,” he said.

“Before, I was looking at bigger goals. That put a lot of pressure on me. Now I’m just trying to take it one batter at a time, one pitch at a time and be as aggressive as possible.”

Unusually for Sajik Stadium, which is known as the “graveyard of away fans,” KIA fans filled the third-base bleachers and showed their support throughout the three-game series. Lee said, “The fans came out in droves. I’m grateful. The support gave me a lot of strength,” Lee emphasised.