Laying the foundation for a team to win is the most fundamental role of a starting pitcher. This is why team performance is so important. As long as your individual stats are up to snuff, your team’s performance on the mound can be an important factor in increasing your value. This is because it shows that you’ve minimized early runs and created an environment for your team to win. Kim Kwang-hyun, who is returning to the KBO ahead of the 2022 season with the SSG Landers Aces, also expressed his responsibility, saying, “I want my team to win 80% of the games I pitch.”
LG Twins foreign pitcher Adam Plutko, 32, is known as the bluebird of the team. In his rookie season in the KBO, Plutko went 15-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 28 games last year and has been a mainstay in the starting rotation this year, going 6-0 with a 2.15 ERA in nine starts. He’s also been consistent, posting seven quality starts (QS – six or more innings pitched with three earned runs or less).
Even more impressive is the team’s performance in Plutko’s starts. This season, LG is 8-1 in the nine games Plutko has started. They haven’t lost a single game, giving them a 100% winning percentage. Plutko is the only one of the 27 pitchers to complete a full game. Furthermore, Plutko’s 4.31 runs allowed per nine innings is only 14th out of 27, so it’s not a fluke. 안전놀이터
Plutko was also a “win fairy” last year, as the team went 20-8 in his 28 starts (71.4% winning percentage). That was second best in the entire league behind Kim Kwang-hyun (20-7). In LG’s two years with Plutko, the team went an astounding 28-1-1 (77.8% winning percentage). His career win percentage is a whopping 80.8% (21-5).
Following in Plutko’s footsteps this season are Oh Won-seok (SSG – 7-1), Raul Alcantara (Doosan Bears), and Eric Pedi (NC Dinos – 7-2). Alcantara and Pedi have been two of the league’s most dominant aces this season. Alcantara leads the league in ERA (1.29) and Pedi leads the league in wins (7), but neither has a 100% team win percentage. This makes Plutko’s undefeated streak all the more remarkable.
The question is, how long can Plutko maintain this momentum? From 2014, when teams were allowed to have three foreign players, to last year, the pitcher with the highest team win percentage in regulation innings pitched was Doosan’s Dustin Nippert in 2016 (22-5-81.5%). It remains to be seen if Plutko can surpass that record.