Kiwoom, ranked 9th, sprinkled spicy red pepper powder on KT, who was busy in second place in the home room, for three days in a row.스포츠토토
Kiwoom Heroes, led by coach Hong Won-ki, hit 12 hits and won 7-0 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against KT Wiz held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 3rd. In the second half of the year, Kiwoom, which had 3 consecutive wins against 2nd place KT, which did not have a single loss in a row, let alone a series sweep, and held back KT, which is highly competitive at the top, maintained 9th place, 2 leagues ahead of the lowest placed Hanwha Eagles (51 wins, 3 wins). 70 draws and 70 losses).
For Kiwoom, foreign player Ronnie Dawson, who hit a timely hit with two RBIs in the third inning, became the game-winning hitter, while Kim Tae-jin, Lim Byeong-wook, Kim Soo-hwan, and Kim Si-ang all recorded multiple hits. However, the main contributor to Kiwoom’s victory on this day was the Heroes’ starting pitcher, who allowed 20 outs until 2 outs in the 7th inning while allowing no hits and only a single walk against the KT lineup. The main character is Kiwoom’s foreign ace Ariel Jurado, who is playing the most innings in the league this season.
I tried to win, but… Kiwoom’s mound was a mess.
Kiwoom, who had a season that exceeded expectations by taking second place in the 2022 Korean Series, significantly strengthened his power through unprecedented investment ahead of this season. In particular, this year was the last(?) season in which Kiwoom could challenge for the championship for a while, as Lee Jeong-hoo, the 2022 regular league MVP and the team’s leading star, declared his intention to challenge for the Major League at the end of this season. However, Kiwoom is currently in 9th place, having played 124 games, the most among the 10 clubs this season.
Ace Ahn Woo-jin, who won the Golden Glove Award in the pitching category by appearing in 30 games in 2022 and recording 15 wins, 8 losses, 224 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.11, is recording 9 wins, 7 losses, and 2.39 in 24 games this year due to bad luck and minor injuries. To make matters worse, Ahn Woo-jin felt pain in his elbow after pitching against the SSG Landers on August 31, and as a result of the examination, he was diagnosed with a rupture of the medial ligament of the elbow and that he would need surgery. Just like that, Kiwoom lost the best ace in the league.
Eric Jokish, who recorded double-digit wins for four consecutive years from 2019 to 2022, was one of the most stable left-handed starting pitchers not only in Kiwoom but also in the entire league. However, Yokishi had a poor season this year with 5 wins, 3 losses, and 4.39 in 12 games, and was eventually sentenced to 6 weeks of absence due to an adductor injury in early June. In the end, Kiwoom announced Yokishi’s waiver on June 16, choosing to say goodbye to the left-handed ace who led the team for four and a half years.
The problem is that the performance of Ian McKinney, a foreign pitcher that Kiwoom hired to replace Yokishi, falls far short of expectations. McKinney, who has no big league experience, has appeared in 11 games this season and is struggling with 1 win, 8 losses, and 6.92. Above all, he has poor ball control, hitting 9 home runs in 11 games and allowing 33 walks while striking out 36. As a result, it would have been better for Kiwoom to wait for Yokishi to recover.
Veteran reliever Won Jong-hyun, who was recruited by investing a considerable sum of 2.5 billion won over four years, hoping to play the role of closer or setup man, is also currently closed. Won Jong-hyun, who was excluded from the first team two games after the season opened, returned a month and a half later and appeared in 18 games, but was left out of the first team again after the game against NC Dinos on July 6th. Won Jong-hyun, who underwent elbow ligament joint surgery last August, is expected to take about a year to rehabilitate, making it difficult for him to be of much help to the team until next season. Jurado, a 27-year-old pitcher from Panama who has thrown the most innings in the league, joined the Texas Rangers in 2013 and debuted in the big league in 2018 after five years in the minors
After winning five games in his rookie season, Jurado appeared in 32 games, including 18 starts, in 2019, recording a record of 7 wins, 11 losses, and 5.81. However, after moving to the New York Mets through a trade in 2020, which was a shortened season, Hurado performed poorly in one game, allowing 5 runs in 4 innings, and has not been on the big league mound since.
Hurado, who played in the Minnesota Twins’ Triple A in 2022, signed a contract with Kiwoom for a total of $1 million in November of that year. It is rare for Kiwoom to give a new foreign pitcher the cap of $1 million, which reflects the hope that Jurado will play an active role as the Heroes’ starting troika along with Woojin Ahn and Yokishi and lead them to victory in the Korean Series. Jurado raised the expectations of Kiwoom fans by pitching 12 scoreless innings in 3 games starting from the exhibition game.
Although Jurado led Kiwoom’s starting lineup with consistent performance after the season opened, he did not receive much attention compared to ‘active big leaguer’ Eric Peddy (NC), ‘returned 20-win pitcher’ Raul Alcantara (Doosan Bears), and leading LG Twins’ ace Adam Plutko. I couldn’t do it. However, Jurado definitely had a weapon to show off: his innings pitching ability, which boasted the highest level in the league. In fact, Jurado is ranked first in the league in terms of innings, having pitched 155.2 innings as of the 3rd.
Hurado showed off his unique inning ability in the game against KT on the 3rd. Of course, the opposing starter was Kim Min, who was starting for the first time this season, and compared to KT, the pressure of competing for rankings was less, so Hurado was able to throw the ball from the mound relatively comfortably. Even though Jurado teamed up with catcher Kim Si-ang, born in 2001, who made his 16th start in the first team on this day, he did not waver at all and completely overwhelmed the KT batting line with 6.2 innings, no hits, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts, and no runs.
Born in 1996, Jurado is the second youngest among the 20 foreign pitchers active in the KBO League, following Hanwha’s Ricardo Sanchez (born in 1997). As his ability to handle innings at the highest level in the league has been proven, if Jurado gains more skills in dealing with batters in the KBO League, he could grow into a top foreign pitcher in the league. From Kiwoom’s perspective, this means that there is no need to hesitate to renew a contract with Rado after he has already become the league’s best innings eater.