Are you worried about Kim Gwang-hyun, who only throws breaking pitches? ML has already started ditching fastball
KBO league representative ace Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG Landers) challenges common sense.
Kim Gwang-hyun achieved his first win of the season and his 150th career KBO league win in the 2023 KBO League home opener against the KIA Tigers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 1st.
The process was not easy with 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts and 1 run in 5 innings. As he admitted in an interview after the match, he was not in good shape. All the hits he got in the first inning came from fastballs, and he even gave up runs. Then, the Kim Gwang-hyun-Lee Jae-won battery changed its strategy. Instead of a fastball that doesn’t work, he took a ball formulation that focuses on breaking balls. Even after that, except for the 5th inning, runners were sent out every inning, but as a result, no additional runs were allowed.
Of the 87 pitches thrown that day (30 changeups, 26 sliders, 23 fastballs, 8 curveballs), fastballs were the third lowest. Regarding this, Kim Gwang-hyun said, “I can use more breaking balls in the future, and I can use more fastballs. I will try to adapt to the situation.” You can throw more,” he replied.
If you think lightly, you can think of it as Kim Gwang-hyun’s desperate plan to make up for the fastball’s restraint and poor pitch with a breaking ball. This is because it was common knowledge in the baseball world to get an advantageous ball count with a fastball and use a breaking ball as a deciding ball. Because of that, there are many eyes that worry about Kim Gwang-hyun, who only throws breaking pitches. But his transformation is already ‘inefficient’
Recently, in the major leagues, breaking the common sense that a starting pitcher must have at least three types of pitches, including a fastball, two-pitch starting pitchers equipped with a fastball and one breaking ball are gradually emerging. Kevin Gaussman (32, Toronto), who was selected as an All-Star in 2021 with a fastball (use rate 53%)-splitter (36%) as the main weapon, and a fastball (use rate 60%)-slider (31%) in the 2021 American League Representative examples include left-hander Robbie Ray (32, Seattle), who won the Cy Young Award, and Spencer Strider (25, Atlanta), who struck out 202 in 131⅔ innings last year with fastballs (67%) and sliders (28%).
Furthermore, pitchers who use sliders rather than fastballs are increasing, such as Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) and Jacob Junis (31, San Francisco) last year. The slider is most notable as a breaking ball paired with a fastball. Each of them has a different speed and pitch movement, but what they have in common is that they actively use the pitch they throw best. Of course, this does not mean ignoring the strengths of fast fastball. However, it means that he doesn’t have to insist on counting with a fastball if he doesn’t have a good fastball or if there is a ball that can induce a miss swing more efficiently than a fastball.
One of them, Strider, said in an interview with the American media The Athletic last month, “I don’t want to throw a ball that is unlikely to make an out. A bad ball has a high contact rate and creates more in-play scenes.” What’s the use of relying on a ball to foul rather than the odds of inducing a swing?”
Also, two-pitch starting pitchers who are attracting attention do not have only two pitches, strictly speaking. The common sense that a starting pitcher should have a variety of pitches came from the disadvantage that if there are few pitches, the batters get used to them when the batting order rotates more than one lap. However, recent major league pitchers are overcoming this shortcoming by throwing one breaking ball with a variety of velocity and movement. Sliders alone are classified into various types, such as normal sliders, high-speed sliders that are as fast as fastballs, and sweepers with severe lateral movement.
Kim Gwang-hyun experienced this trend firsthand. He boldly tried to change and eventually returned with a decent performance in the major leagues. He met at the SSG Fan Festival last year and said, “When I went to the US, there were many players who really wanted to throw a ball faster than me even if I threw it with the opposite hand. ) I can throw it,” he said.
On this day, in the match against Choi Hyung-woo with two outs and bases loaded in the top of the 3rd inning, the results of that effort could be seen. Kim Gwang-hyun was driven to 0S and 3B with 2 fastballs and 1 slider, but he struck out by throwing 3 sliders, his most confident pitch. Kim Gwang-Hyun, who has grown again like that, made his debut in Samsung Lions on April 10, 2007, and achieved 150 wins in 327 full games (minimum games). This is the fifth all-time following Song Jin-woo (210 wins), Jung Min-cheol (161 wins), Yang Hyeon-jong (159 wins), and Lee Kang-cheol (152 wins). 스포츠토토
KBO league representative ace Kim Gwang-hyun (35, SSG Landers) challenges common sense. Kim Gwang-hyun achieved his first win of the season and his 150th career KBO league win in the 2023 KBO League home opener against the KIA Tigers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 1st. The process was not easy with 4…