By Yoon Seo Park = The KIA Tigers are starting to have some bad memories. Foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez pitched his worst game since his KBO debut.
Sanchez, a substitute foreign pitcher, joined KIA last month. His debut was a shocker. On March 9, Sanchez pitched 6⅓ innings against the KT Wiz, allowing one run on five hits (one home run) with 10 strikeouts. Sanchez’s double-kicking and unique fake blocking moves also caught the eye.
Sanchez struck out 10 in his next start against the Doosan Bears on March 21. But the runs piled up. He gave up four runs on two home runs. The team fell to 2-5 and Sanchez suffered his first loss.
It got worse from there. On March 26, Sanchez gave up three runs on nine hits to the NC Dinos offense. His innings were cut to five. After striking out 20 batters in two games, Sanchez had only three strikeouts that day.
Eventually, the fear came true. Sanchez gave up seven runs on 10 hits (one home run) in four innings against the Pohang Samsung Lions on April 1. His ERA spiked to 6.14 and his batting average was over three percent (.301).
Opposing hitters are finding solutions by analyzing Sanchez’s power. On the other hand, his velocity is dropping and he needs a breakthrough.
What’s encouraging, though, is his command. He hasn’t walked a batter in 22 innings. The team needs to capitalize on its strengths in pitching and game management.
KIA hasn’t been able to capitalize on its foreign pitching acquisitions in the first half of this year like it did last season. Last year, Ronnie Williams was dropped after going 3-3 with a 5.89 ERA in 10 games, and Sean Nolin was limited to 21 appearances due to frequent injuries.
This season was no different. The team parted ways with Shawn Anderson, who failed to fill the number one starter role, and Adonis Medina, who posted a 6.05 ERA.스포츠토토
KIA will look to end the foreign pitching atrocity with late-inning counterparts Card Sanchez and Thomas Pannoni. Panoni, who joins the team as a backup foreign pitcher for the second straight year, is a proven resource. In three appearances this season, he has a 1-0 record with a 1.15 ERA.
The problem is Sanchez, who hasn’t shown the intensity of his debut. He will need to quench the Tigers’ thirst.