Sang-young Lee’s first step was ‘4 innings, 2 runs’

Lee Sang-young (23-LG) made a successful comeback.

Lee made his first start of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against Samsung at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Thursday. He pitched four innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks with one strikeout. LG came from behind to win 3-2. It was his third straight win.

It was his first first-team start in a long time. It has been 598 days since 24 October 2021 against Doosan in Jamsil (game one of a doubleheader). Lee Sang-young was a substitute at the time and gave up two runs in 2⅔ innings. About two months later, in mid-December, he joined the Commerce Baseball Club. This year, he has been a regular in the starting rotation. In nine games and 51⅓ innings, he went 8-1 with a 2.63 ERA.

He was discharged on the 12th. He was ready to start today. Before the game, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “There are no restrictions on the number of pitches or innings. We will throw normally,” he said, adding, “We want to give him a chance for a month unconditionally, and then we will evaluate.” Coach Yeom said, “If the starting pitching collapses, the game is decided in the early innings. Kelly and Lee Sang-young hold the key,” he said. “If they do a good job, we can pick up the pace of our batting and go for a long winning streak.”

Lee got off to a good start. Her total pitch count was 65. He used a four-seam fastball (27) and a slider (27), along with a forkball (five), changeup (four), and two-seam fastball (two). His four-seam fastball topped out at 141 kilometres per hour.

He was hit by a pitch to lead off the first inning. He got Kim Hyun-jun and Jose Pirela to fly out to right before getting Kim to ground out to first base. It was a good start. In the second, he gave up a leadoff double to Kang Min-ho, but then retired Kim Dong-yeop, Lee Jae-hyun, and Kim Ho-jae.

In the third, he faltered. A hit by pitch and a walk put runners on second and third. Pirela hit a double to score two runs. Kang Min-ho was then hit by a pitch. Kim Dong-yeop grounded out to end the inning without further damage. The fourth inning took just four batters.

The bullpen then took over for the remainder of the inning. Yoo Young-chan (W), Jung Woo-young, Kim Jin-sung, and Park Myung-geun (hold) pitched one inning each. Ham Deok-joo pitched ⅓ of an inning and Baek Seung-hyun pitched ⅔ of an inning to earn the save 안전놀이터.

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