“I’ve been off a long time, I have to do something.”

The Kia Tigers’ mound in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) has gotten a boost. Im Ki-young (31), the “must-win pitcher,” returned healthy and set the stage for the team’s victory in his comeback game.

The Tigers won 6-3 against the NC Dinos in the regular season of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at NC Park in Changwon on April 29, extending their winning streak to four games.

On this day, Kia got the mound support it had been waiting for. Lee Yi-ri, who returned from an elbow flexor strain, was the starting pitcher, followed by Lim Ki-young, who was sidelined with an adductor injury. Lee Bum-ho planned to use a one-two punch of Lee and Lim, who has been building up his pitch count since his injury.

It worked. The starter threw between 60 and 70 pitches in three innings. He left the game after three innings and 63 pitches, four hits (two home runs), three walks, and three runs. In the fourth inning, with the score tied 3-3, Lim Ki-young took the mound. It was his first start in 61 days since March 29 against Doosan.

Lim gave up a big hit to lead off the fourth inning to Kim Hyung-joon, but left fielder Lee Woo-sung picked it off the ground to get out of the jam. He then struck out Han Seok-hyun. A walk to Park Se-hyuk and a single to Kim Joo-won put runners on first and second, but Choi got Jung-won Choi to fly out to center field to end the threat.

In the fifth, Seo grounded out to shortstop, struck out Park Han-bae, and got Davidson to fly out to left field to end the inning.

In the sixth inning, Lim struck out the leadoff batter, Kim Sung-wook, and then got Kim Hyung-joon to fly out to center field. Two batters later, Han gave up a single to right to Seok-hyun Han before handing the ball over to Lee Jun-young. Lee then gave up a single to pinch-hitter Park Gun-woo to put runners on second and third, but Jang Hyun-sik struck out Kim Joo-won to end the inning. Lim’s final line was 2⅔ innings, two hits, one walk, three strikeouts, and no runs allowed.

In the top of the fifth inning with Lim on the mound, Kim Do-young hit a sacrifice fly and Na Sung-beom hit a solo shot to make it 5-3, giving Lim the win and the win-loss record. Lim, who also picked up the win against Doosan on March 29, his last start before his injury, has already picked up two 먹튀검증 wins since his return.

After the game, Lim said, “I was nervous before I went up, but I didn’t feel nervous when I got up there. Yesterday, my coach told me in advance that I might throw long pitches when I got on the mound, so I prepared well accordingly,” he said, adding, ‘I had a set number of pitches today, and I thought I would go out after a certain number of pitches. I don’t feel sick, but I think I’m fine.’

After being out for two months, Lim is determined to take the mound responsibly for the rest of the season. His rehabilitation since his injury has prepared him to be a starter, but he is also ready to pitch out of the bullpen. With Will Crowe’s replacement, Cam Aldred, also a foreigner, on the horizon, Lim’s versatility will be expanded.

“I don’t think I’m trying to take care of my body right now, but I think I need to do whatever I can because I’ve been off for so long,” he said. “If there’s a spot open, whether it’s a starter or a bullpen spot, I need to be able to step up and pitch. I felt bad for the pitchers for two months. I think it’s important for me to help the pitchers because they’re struggling a lot right now.”

He made one attempt to return on April 19 in the Futures League NC, but was 토토사이트 순위 delayed because he was not fully fit. “I went to the baseball field a few times after I was injured, and I thought, ‘What am I doing,’ but the team was doing well, so I felt good. I said I should come back quickly, but the first time I pitched in the NC and the second team game, it was bad. I didn’t watch baseball after that,” he said. “I thought I would force myself or rush it, so I prepared as slowly as possible, and I think I made my body more solid during training camp. I told myself that I could make myself ready for the starting lineup, and I think I was ready.”

With Lim Ki-young, KIA now has a wing on the mound. Coach Lee Bum-ho said of Lim after the game, “I think he showed his skills well even though it was his first first-team start in a long time,” and looked forward to his future performance.


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