The enemy leader’s praise was not enough…’Nightmare Heroes Debut’

The adversary’s praise was colorless. Right-handed pitcher Kim Dong-gyu (19, Kiwoom Heroes) performed sluggishly in the ‘Heroes Debut Match’.

Kim Dong-gyu started the LG Twins 꽁머니사이트 away game held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 13th, and was sluggish with 4 hits (1 home run), 3 walks and 5 runs in 2 innings. He went down the mound at 2-5 and became the losing pitcher as the game ended at 8-17. Prior to the game on this day, Kim Dong-gyu’s first team record was 1 game, 1/3 innings, 3 walks, 2 runs (1 earned run).

It was an interesting climb. Kim Dong-gyu changed his uniform from LG to Kiwoom on the 29th of last month. LG, which recruited native ace Choi Won-tae, sent Kim Dong-gyu, infield prospect Lee Joo-hyung, and the 2024 rookie draft 1st round nomination right to Kiwoom in return for the trade. Kim Dong-gyu, who had been in the Futures (second team) league since the transfer, seized the opportunity to make his debut match for the Heroes against LG, his ‘parent team’.

Before the game, LG coach Yeom Gyeong-yeop was wary of Kim Dong-gyu. Kim Dong-gyu, who graduated from Seongnam High School, was nominated with the 17th overall pick in the second round of the 2023 rookie draft. Director Yeom said, “It’s a potential pitcher.” “I thought Dong-gyu was a pitcher who could throw 150km/h on our team. He is definitely a promising pitcher.” Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki said, “I hope he only shows up to 3 innings.” He meant that he would run the bullpen as soon as he could hold out until the batting order turned around.

Kim Dong-gyu shook like autumn leaves. From the start of the bottom of the first inning, where the score was 0-0, he brought the bases loaded safely with two walks and one hit. He allowed the first run in Austin Dean’s at-bat in the 4th due to a wild throw, and continued to run safely on second and third bases with Austin’s sacrifice fly. Kiwoom’s batting line succeeded in tying the score 2-2 with Jeon Byeong-woo’s infield ground ball and Kim Dong-heon’s timely hit from 1 company, 1st and 3rd base at the beginning of the second inning.

Kim Dong-gyu was shaken even more at the end of the second inning. The second fastball thrown to lead hitter Park Dong-won led to a solo home run that crossed the left fence. Following this, Lee Jae-won’s heavy hit and stolen base, and Hong Chang-ki’s walk after one out, resulted in runners on first and third bases. LG attempted a double steal in Shin Min-jae’s subsequent at-bat, and catcher Kim Dong-heon threw to second base, and third base runner Lee Jae-won dug home. In the 1st and 2nd base, behind 2-4, Shin Min-jae gave up the 5th point with a timely hit. The second inning was finished without additional runs, but Kim Dong-gyu’s mission ended there. Coach Hong Won-ki started the bullpen from the third inning and put Hyun Yang on the mound.

Kim Dong-gyu pitched 49 pitches. The strike rate was 46.9% (23), which was less than 50%. The highest fastball speed was taken up to 148 km. The position was not a big problem, but the key was the ball. Most of the pitches went far out of the strike zone and were pushed back in the ball count fight. Since the rate of breaking balls (4 curves, 5 forks) excluding fastballs (40) is low, hitters only aim for fastballs and hit them.