Has he finally rebounded?
Kia Tigers foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez pitched his best game since his KBO debut. Sanchez pitched seven innings against the Hanwha Eagles at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on May 25, allowing one run on two hits and one walk (one hit by pitch) with six strikeouts. He totaled 92 pitches. It was the first time Sanchez, who joined the KIA as a substitute and made his KBO debut on March 9 against the Suwon KT Wiz, pitched seven innings.
It was a shaky start. Sanchez walked leadoff hitter Moon Hyun-bin with a pitch to the body in the top of the first and gave up a single to Noh Si-hwan in the bottom of the first, but he escaped the inning by striking out Chae Eun-sung and Kim Tae-yeon.
After KIA scored the first run in the next inning, Sanchez settled down. He cruised, retiring 10 straight batters from the second through the top of the fifth inning. He allowed Williams to reach on a fielder’s choice, but got Kim In-hwan to ground out to the pitcher and Lee Jin-young to strike out to end the threat.
After retiring the side in order in the sixth, Sanchez gave up his first run of the game in the seventh on a double to Chae Eun-seong and a single to Kim Tae-yeon. However, he got two outs by getting Choi Jae-hoon to fly out to first base and struck out Williams to complete a quality start plus (7+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less). It was a complete game victory over Hanwha’s foreign ace Ricardo Sanchez, a native of Venezuela with the same registered name.
Before this game, there was a lot of concern about Sanchez. After pitching more than six innings in the first two games of his debut, he hasn’t been able to settle down since. In his previous four starts in August, he had gone six innings in only one of them. In his only victory, a six-inning start against Samsung Electronics in Daegu on Aug. 19, he gave up five runs on eight hits (one home run) and barely managed to get any offensive support. His velocity dropped sharply after reaching 80 pitches, but Hanwha kept his pitch count under control and minimized the damage. The victory was not without significance.메이저놀이터
The KIA starting lineup, which has been plagued by Sanchez’s struggles, Yang Hyun-jong Lee’s struggles, and injuries, can breathe a sigh of relief. Panoni and Yoon Young-cheol continue to rotate in the starting rotation, Yang Hyeon-jong is back from the disabled list, and Lee Yi-ri is available after taking a turn with shoulder inflammation. With Sanchez rebounding, the team has a chance to gain momentum in the late-season race.