Ahn Woo-jin (24), the “ace” of Kiwoom in professional baseball, started 30 games last season and played 196 innings, recording an overwhelming record of 15-8 with an ERA of 2.11. Ahn Woo-jin is showing a powerful performance this season as well as last year. If there is a difference, it is the multiplier raised by playing the same game as last season. Until July 21 last year, he started 18 games and recorded 10 wins and 4 losses with an ERA of 1.92. On the other hand, An Woo-jin recorded an average ERA of 2.47 in 18 games this year, and only managed to record 6 wins (6 losses). Although he achieved 12 quality starts (6 or more innings, 3 earned or less), he had the least bad luck in the league, such as the lowest scoring support (3.20 points) of the batting line and the bullpen hunting for substitutes. From the last minute of the first half, he continued to throw pitches that he was not satisfied with.
Ahn Woo-jin scored the most 5 runs in a game this season against KIA on the 28th of last month, then scored 4 runs in a row until the NC match and the last KT match in the first half. In the match against Lotte, his first start after a short break, he became a 0-2 losing pitcher even after pitching well with 2 runs in 6 innings. 안전놀이터 In the beginning of the 3rd inning, Jeon Jun-woo of Lotte, with 2 out and 1 base, was allowed to run left, leaving a regret. The team was also in a bad flow. On the 25th and 26th, Kiwoom called Hanwha at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul and lost two games in a row in three consecutive weeks during the week, and the league ranking fell to ninth place behind Hanwha. Ahn Woo-jin, who was the starting pitcher in the last game against Hanwha, had a heavy burden on his shoulders. An Woo-jin’s ace instincts wriggled again.
He led Kiwoom to a 2-0 victory against Hanwha on the 27th with 8 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk and no runs. It was the 7th win (6th loss) of the season after 19 games this season. His ERA was lowered to 2.31. There was not even a moment that could be called a crisis. He threw 99 pitches with a speed of up to 158 km per hour, sliders, curves, changeups, etc., and struck out 10. When the starters got stuck, Hanwha tried to turn things around by using Ha Joo-seok, Kim In-hwan, and Choi Jae-hoon as consecutive pinch hitters in the beginning of the 8th inning, but they were helpless in front of Ahn Woo-jin’s pitch, which was close to perfect.
At the bottom of the 4th inning, against Hanwha starter Ricardo Sanchez, Kiwoom hitter Kim Hye-seong took advantage of an error by first baseman, and Ronnie Dawson picked out a walk and made first and second base safely. . Follow-up hitter Song Seong-moon hit an infield grounder from 1st and 1st and 3rd bases, bringing Dawson, who was at 3rd base, home and running away one more run. Finisher Lim Chang-min kept the top of the 9th inning without conceding. Sanchez also played an active role with 2 runs (1 earned) in 7 innings that day, but was unable to escape the defeat. Ahn Woo-jin, whom we met after the game that day, said, “I had a lot of worries because the pitching in the 4-5 games I started recently was not very good. He checked the data through the analysis room, and there was a part where the fastball he had previously thrown turned into a two-mindedness,” he said.
An Woo-jin, who had accumulated a series of losses in the preceding KT and Lotte matches, also ended his losing streak with a victory on this day. However, he did not attach much importance to individual victories. Ahn Woo-jin said, “I have the mindset that the team must win when I start. Rather than going up for a quality start, he gets on the mound to play games that his team wins. Especially when I’m in the middle of a losing streak, that kind of heart is bigger.” On this day, Ahn Woo-jin engraved the numbers ’51’ and ’29’ on his hat and climbed the mound. 51 and 29 are the uniform numbers of outfielders Lee Jung-hoo and Lim Ji-yeol, who were sidelined due to ankle and finger injuries, respectively. In particular, Lee Jung-hoo, the team’s leading hitter, underwent surgery on the extensor belt that wrapped around the left ankle tendon this morning. His injury recovery and rehabilitation will take about three months, so his return in the regular season is expected to be difficult.
The vacancy of Lee Jung-hoo, the pillar of Kiwoom’s batting line, also increased the burden on pitching staff ace Woo-jin An. He said, “Yesterday (26th), I had a video call with Jung Hu-hyung and high school seniors and exchanged regards. If the team goes to fall baseball, Jung Hu-hyung might come back, so I really want to go up.” He continued, “I think there should be a lot of winning games in the second half. All players keep in mind that they have to win when facing a team competing for rankings,” he said, expressing his determination, saying, “I will play with the goal of 4 wins and 2 losses a week.”