“I didn’t expect it.”
Changwon NC Park on the 23rd of this month. It was a dizzying moment for the Doosan Bears. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with runners on first and second, NC’s Park Min-woo hit a fly ball directly at Doosan starting pitcher Raul Alcantara. Alcantara ducked and threw out his hand as the ball came toward his face, and the ball hit his palm and went sideways.
Alcantara complained of pain and was taken off the mound.
The score was 0-0 with one out. Lee Young-ha came on, and with the ‘ace’ Alcantara up to 84 pitches, the change felt even more abrupt and early.
Young-ha, who hadn’t even warmed up, got Martin to foul out to first base with two sliders and then struck out Kwon Hee-dong with a 150-kilometer fastball.
With one out, Doosan scored three runs in the top of the seventh to take the lead. Lee retired the first batter he faced in the bottom of the seventh, Oh Young-soo, on a fly ball to left field before striking out Do Tae-hoon and Ahn Jung-yeol.
In the eighth inning, Lee retired all three batters on six pitches. Lee turned the mound over to closer Chung Chul-won in the bottom of the ninth.
The game between the Doosan Bears and Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 KBO League was held at Gocheok Sky Dome on April 24. Doosan’s Lee Young-ha is pitching in relief.
Chung gave up one run but kept the lead, and Doosan won 3-1. Lee, who picked up the win in relief for Samsung Electronics on April 22 with 1⅔ scoreless innings, won his second straight game and picked up his fourth win of the season.
“I was lucky for the second day in a row. Samsung had runners on first and third with one out, but (Cho) Doo-hyun made a great save. I gained confidence, so I thought, “I’ll stop them all in the 10th inning,” and I think I was lucky that the first batter hit a foul ball.
An unexpected start. “I was chewing gum in the bullpen, and I just swallowed it and went up,” Lee laughed, “and I thought, ‘Let’s get a couple catches and get it out of the way on the mound’. I actually thought I was in trouble. It was a softball game, so I felt a little stiff, but once I got going, I forgot about it. After the first inning, I came down and threw again, so it wasn’t too bad.”
Lee won 17 games in 2019 and was touted as the next right-handed ace, but a court case involving a junior who claimed to have been “bullied” left him with little time to focus on baseball. He was cleared of any wrongdoing and was able to start pitching more regularly in the middle of the year.
When he returned, he was just as good as he had been as an ace. Her strategy of maximizing her strengths worked. His fastball reached 155 kilometers. “I’m not a pitcher with a good fastball, so I thought, ‘Let’s develop more strength.’ I thought, ‘I have strength that other people don’t have, so let’s develop it more,’ and I’ve been lifting weights, so my fastball has increased recently,” he said.
The game between the Doosan Bears and Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 KBO League was held at the Gocheok Sky Dome on April 24. Doosan’s Lee Young-ha is pitching.
Doosan’s Lee Young-ha pitches during the game between Doosan and KIA at KIA Champions Field in Gwangju on Friday. Gwangju=Sang-wook Heo 기자wook@sportschosun.com/2023.09.15/
바카라사이트When he was first called up to the first team in early June and played until early August, Lee was not the same pitcher he is now. There were days when he was able to throw strikes but his pitches were more shaky, and there were days when he gave up a lot of runs. “I think I’m more mentally mature than I was in the beginning. Before, I had a lot of thoughts that I had to do well because it was the first time I came up with a new manager and there were a lot of things that happened. Now that I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, I think it’s different.”
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop was also pleased with Lee’s recent form. “His slider angle has improved, and his velocity has improved. His strike rate has also increased, so I feel comfortable watching him.”
Doosan is in fourth place with 67 wins, 1 tie and 59 losses through 25 days. They are 2.5 games behind third-place NC (68-2-55). In the final push to punch their ticket to fall baseball, Young-ha Lee’s performance is starting to be as much of a driving force as it was during the 17-win season.