“It’s cooler to pitch well when you’re a substitute starter.”
LG’s Im Chan-kyu has been pitching powerfully since he switched from long relief to starting. He is the best of LG’s homegrown starters.
On March 23, Lim started the game against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon and pitched six innings of one-run ball with three hits, one walk and two strikeouts to earn the win. Fourth win of the season.
Dominated the SSG lineup in the highly anticipated matchup, mixing a fastball that topped out at 147 km/h (41) with his main weapon, a changeup (32) and a big drop-off curveball (18). The only run he gave up was on a home run.
After striking out Shin-Soo Choo, Ji-hoon Choi, and Choi Jeong in the first inning, Lim gave up a solo home run to Choi Joo-hwan over the right field fence in the bottom of the second. The third through fifth innings were shutout by a trio of strikeouts.
He continued his hitting streak of 13 consecutive batters until the second out of the sixth inning. In the bottom of the sixth, Choi Ji-hoon was hit in the thigh by a pitch and the ball deflected between first and second base for an infield hit. Lim told the trainer, who came up to check on him, that he was fine and quickly returned to the game.
Choi Jung singled to left-center, putting runners on second and third, but he struck out Heredia, who was batting first, and pumped his fist and roared. “I wanted to throw a very strong changeup, and I think it went in the way I wanted it to go in, and the serenade came out of nowhere,” Lim said with a smile after the game.
His fastball reached 147 kilometers that day. It was faster than usual. “I think this weather is good for throwing. It felt good. I didn’t intend to throw it hard, I threw it with balance, and 147 kilometers came out. It came out fast because I threw it confidently and the balance was a little better.”
Before the game, Yeom praised Lim for his contributions to the team as a starter in long relief early in the season. In April, aside from Plutko, Kelly and Kim Yun-sik struggled in LG’s five-man starting rotation, Lee Min-ho was sidelined with an elbow flexor injury after throwing one game, and fifth starter Kang Hyo-jong was dropped to the second team due to poor performance. Long-relief pitcher Im Chan-kyu, who joined the team in mid-April as a temporary starter, has been working his way up to the third starter’s role. He was 3-0 with a 1.46 ERA in five starts before this game.
Yeom said of Lim: “I think he’s on track now. His preparation for the season has helped us the most on the pitching side. We had a lot of injuries in the pitching staff, and we had a lot of breakdowns, but I think it was more than 50 percent because he created an axis that we could hold on to.”
Since joining the starting rotation as a temporary starter, he’s been in ace mode. In six starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA. Still, he has no desire to be the starter.
“When I was preparing for long relief in camp, the manager told me that the young pitchers in the starting rotation were good, so I needed to back them up, so I focused on that. As I focused on long relief, I let go. I let go of starting, quality starts, five innings, all that stuff, and I just found my groove,” he said. “The opportunity to start came naturally, and I think it’s paid off because I’m ready to go to long relief at any time, rather than trying to take that opportunity.”스포츠토토
Lee Min-ho, who is recovering from an injury, and Lee Sang-young, who is playing for the Sangmu, could be back in the starting lineup in June. “I think it’s good that when Min-ho and the younger pitchers come in, I’m there to give them strength in the middle. I don’t have any greed because I don’t mind switching back and forth (between starting and long relief) because I think it’s good for my value and the team’s performance if I can fill in where the team needs me.”
Finally, Lim laughed and said, “It’s even cooler to pitch this well when I’m a substitute starter.”