Mario Sanchez (KIA Tigers) pitched a strong game in his KBO debut.

Sanchez pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing one run (one earned), five hits (one home run) and striking out 10 in his debut against the KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea, on Sept. 9.

It was Sanchez’s KBO debut. Sanchez joined the KBO after signing a contract with KIA on June 6. He joined the team as a replacement foreign pitcher for the struggling Adonis Medina.

Before coming to Korea, Sanchez played for the Tung Yi Lions of the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL). In 10 games (9 starts) for Tung Yi this season, he pitched 62⅔ innings with 11 runs (10 earned), 12 walks, 42 strikeouts, a 1.44 ERA, and a 0.926 WHIP (walks allowed per inning).

Sanchez had no problems with jet lag and game feel. He joined the team on the 7th and made 9 starts. Sanchez threw a total of 88 pitches. He mixed a four-seam fastball (43 pitches), slider (20 pitches), cutter (12 pitches), curve (6 pitches), and two-seam fastball (2 pitches). His fastball maxed out at 147 km/h.

Sanchez started the game with a leadoff single to Kim Min-hyuk. However, he struck out Kim Sang-soo. He then got some help from catcher Kim Tae-gun. Kim prevented Kim from stealing second. He then struck out Hwang Jae-gyun to end the first inning in the KBO.

Sanchez struck out Park Byung-ho and Jang Jang-woo in the top of the second before getting Lee Ho-yeon to ground out to second base. In the top of the third, he got Anthony Alford to fly out to left, Ahn Chi-young to ground out to shortstop, and Choi Jae-dae to pop out to center.

Sanchez talked to third base umpire Choi Soo-soo about the double-kicking motion before heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Sanchez made an irregular double-kicking motion when he pitched. KT protested the call. In the end, the irregular double-kicking motion was banned.

Sanchez was in trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning. After striking out Kim Min-hyuk and Kim Sang-soo, he gave up a double to Hwang Jae-gyun. That put runners in scoring position for the first time in the game. However, he struck out Byung-ho Park to get out of the jam.

Sanchez scored his first run in the bottom of the fifth inning. After striking out Jang Jang-woo, he gave up a home run to Lee Ho-yeon. In a 2B1S situation, Lee took a fastball to the body and smashed it over the right field fence. But he didn’t falter after that. Alford grounded out to third and Ahn struck out to end the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Sanchez reached double-digit strikeouts for the game. He walked the leadoff batter to load the bases. After getting Kim Min-hyuk to fly out to center, he gave up a single to Kim Sang-soo. Later, when Hwang Jae-gyun came to bat, KT came out to protest once again. This time, it wasn’t about double-kicking, but a balk.

Sanchez has a peculiar habit when he has runners on base. When he starts his pitching motion, he makes a motion as if he’s trying to block first base. He then balances himself and pitches. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol protested, but it wasn’t accepted. In the end, he struck out Hwang Jae-gyun. It was his 10th strikeout of the game. 토토사이트 순위

Sanchez took the mound again in the seventh inning. He got leadoff hitter Park Byung-ho to ground out to second base. He then gave up a single to Jang Jang-woo before being replaced by Choi Ji-min to close out the game. Choi struck out Lee Ho-yeon and Alford to end the inning.

Sanchez showed good command of his pitches from the first pitch, proving why he has performed so well in the CPBL. Most importantly, he didn’t walk a single batter. This will be a big boost for KIA’s second half rebound.

Sanchez said after the game, “I feel so good. I hope I can pitch like this in the future,” Sanchez said after the game, “I want to give myself a 90 because I gave up one run today, but I want the team to win regardless of my performance.”

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