“I threw hard again today, but it was only 143 mph”

LG Twins starter Son Ju-young threw 89 pitches in six innings with four hits, one walk and seven strikeouts against the Lotte Giants of the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League at Sajik Stadium in Busan on March 11, earning his first win in 44 days since March 28 against the Samsung Lions.

Son Ju-young earned his first win of the season in his first start against Samsung, throwing six innings of three-hit ball with three walks and three strikeouts. His subsequent performances were less than stellar, but he continued his good form with four scoreless innings against the NC Dinos on March 3 and five scoreless innings against the KIA Tigers on March 9. However, he suddenly began to struggle against the Doosan Bears on March 14, giving up five runs (two earned) in four innings.

Son was knocked around for four runs (four earned) in three innings against SSG Landers on March 21, and five runs (five earned) in five innings against the KIA Tigers on March 28, but when the two teams met again on April 4, Son had a quality start (three earned runs or less in six innings) despite allowing nine hits in six innings. “Son Joo-young has some control over his strength and weakness at the beginning of the game, so I told him to throw hard from the beginning,” said Yoon Kyung-yup.

The manager continued, “He threw 141-142 kilometers in the first inning. He’s not at that age now. He needs to increase his speed and adjust his speed when he’s at a certain level. If you take it easy when you’re not at a certain level, you stop growing and your speed stops increasing. You need to throw hard and increase your velocity to build stamina. He needs to throw 150 kilometers. He has the mentality and the potential to grow. He’s one of the resources we have to make a first-team starter in Korea.”

After being criticized by her coach, Son Ju-young struggled with her fastball early in the game. In the first inning, his fastball was only 145 kilometers and his lowest was 142 kilometers. The second and third innings were more of the same, with his fastballs reaching up to 147 kilometers in the fourth inning. But his pitches were solid. Despite giving up a leadoff single to Yoon Dong-hee in the first inning on an error by shortstop Oh Ji-hwan, Son retired the next three batters to break up the scoreless start.

In the second, he gave up a leadoff double to Jung Hoon to start the inning, but induced a fielder’s choice to Yoo Kang-nam to erase the leadoff runner and struck out both Na Seung-yup and Oh Sun-jin. In the third inning, back-to-back singles by Lee Hak-joo and Yoon Dong-hee put runners on first and second, but he got Ko Seung-min to fly out to center and Victor Reyes to ground out to third. After surviving the early threats, Son struck out the side in the fourth inning for his first career triple and overcame a bases-loaded jam in the fifth to secure the win.

With a pitch count to spare, Son took the mound in the sixth inning. He struck out the leadoff batter, Ko Seung-min, to start the inning. After giving up a walk to 카지노 Reyes, Son gave up a big hit to Jeon Jun-woo in left field. Moon Sung-joo made a super jumping catch to turn Jeon’s long hit into a fly ball and erased Reyes, who had made the overthrow, on the replay, giving Son a quality start. Then, ‘Closer’ Yoo Young-chan pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings to secure his second win of the season.

Son Joo-young, who hails from Gyeongnam High School, talked about how it felt to win against his ‘hometown team’. “It was my first win since the first game, and I was happy that (Park) Dong-won trusted his brother’s sign and pitched well. Also, Lotte is my hometown team, and there were a lot of Lotte fans here today, which gave me a lot of energy. I got a lot of energy. It was my first relief appearance since my professional debut, and I think the mound was higher than I expected,” he smiled.

Son Joo-young, who was recently criticized by manager Yoon Kyung-yup, took the time to explain. He said, “I tend to improve my velocity little by little after throwing 50 pitches. I’ve been playing since I was young and my velocity has been increasing. Yesterday (Oct. 10), I met with the manager and he told me, ‘You’re starting five, so don’t think about six innings, but pitch as if you’re going to pitch five innings. I’m not in a position to control my pace, but I’m the type of pitcher who naturally relaxes a little bit late.”

“I can’t tell you that,” he said, “so I threw strongly from the first inning today, but it was only 143 kilometers, but fortunately, the further back I went, the more control I had,” he smiled.

Son gave credit for the victory to his teammates, saying, “Please use it.” He added, “They helped me a lot in the training part. They said, ‘It’s a lot of work,’ but they said, ‘As long as you’re healthy, we’ll take care of you.’ I’m very grateful. And before, I was shaking my head and getting hit, but since the last game, I hardly shake my head. (Park) Dong-won was able to pitch six innings twice in a row thanks to his brother, and even though he can’t speak, (Kim) Jin-sung gave me good energy today. I got it for the first time today,” he said cheerfully.

“I didn’t think it was going to go over the fence. I thought, ‘I wonder if I can catch it,’ but I thought, ‘It’s okay,’“ and to Yoo Young-chan, who secured the win with a five-out save, he said, ‘(In the eighth inning) Hyun-soo said, ’Pray for me,’ including my brother Hyun-soo. (Yoo Young-chan) has the next room, so I think I should buy him something delicious.” He expressed his gratitude to his teammates.

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