Kim Yun-sik saves the day… LG’s first KS start in 7,677 days

LG Twins left-handed pitcher Kim Yun-sik (23) exceeded expectations in Game 4 of the 2023 KBO Korean Series (KS), earning the first start for an LG pitcher in 21 years.

Behind Kim’s stellar performance, LG swept KT 15-4 to improve to 3-1 in the series and remain just one win away from their first KS title in 29 years.

Kim Yun-sik started Game 4 of the KS against the KT Wiz at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on Nov. 11 and finished the job with 5⅔ innings, 85 pitches, three hits, one walk, three strikeouts and one run.

Kim was named the Daily Most Valuable Player (MVP) of Game 4 of the KS series and took home a cash prize of 1 million won.

Kim Yun-sik has been LG’s “sore finger” this season.

Kim Yun-sik, who was touted as a future “left-handed ace” after a strong second half last year, started Game 3 of the playoffs against the Kiwoom Heroes and pitched 5⅔ innings of one-run ball.

However, he struggled in the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which preceded this season.

His regular season was up and down as well, finishing the year with a 6-4 record and a 4.22 ERA in 17 games.

LG chose Kim Yoon-sik as the starting pitcher for Game 4 against KS, but secretly prepared for the game to be a “bullpen day”.

This was in case Kim Yun-sik was unable to last the long innings.

Kim Yun-sik put those concerns to rest on the mound as he mowed down KT batters.

His fastball only topped out at 144 mph, but his changeup, curveball, and slider were all in full control.

KT’s batters often swung at pitches that were clearly visible, only to have their timing fall short.

Kim Yun-sik retired nine batters in three innings before giving up a walk to the leadoff batter in the fourth.

The KT bats, which had pounded out 15 hits in Game 3 the day before, disappeared like a mirage in front of Kim’s pitching.

In the fourth inning, Kim Yun-sik allowed a walk and a stolen base to put two runners on base, but he got Kim Sang-soo to ground into an infield single, Hwang Jae-gyun to fly out, and Park Byung-ho to strike out to end the inning.

In the fifth inning, Kim gave up his first hit of the game to Moon Sang-chul one out later.

Once again, Kim Yun-sik retired Jung Jun-young and Oh Yoon-seok on consecutive infield grounders.

In the sixth inning, Kim Yun-sik stayed on the mound and got two outs before giving up a double to Kim Sang-soo and an RBI single to Hwang Jae-gyun for a 5-1 lead.

Even though the sixth inning was not completed, the LG fans welcomed Yunsik to the dugout with a huge cheer.

The impact of Kim’s performance didn’t end there.

In Games 2 and 3, when the starting pitchers went down early, LG won two straight games, but the bullpen was severely depleted.

The LG bullpen, which was solid in Game 2, faltered in Game 3.

With Kim Yoon-sik on the mound for the sixth inning, the bullpen got a valuable break.

The win was his first career start for LG, which took the series three games to one.

Previously, Ham Deok-ju picked up the win in Game 2 and Ko Woo-seok in Game 3.

The last start by an LG pitcher was by Ravelo Manzanio (7 innings, 1 hit, 1 run) in Game 2 between the Samsung Lions and KS on November 4, 2002, making it 7,677 days since Kim Yun-sik earned a Korean Series start by an LG pitcher. 먹튀검증

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