Kim Min-soo (24), a former first-round pick who was selected to replace Uhm Sang-baek, once again caused trouble for KT’s starting pitching staff. For the third consecutive game, he was pulled after just three innings, adding to manager Lee Kang-cheol’s worries amid an already tight schedule.
Kim took the mound for the 14th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against Hanwha in Daejeon at Hanwha Life Eagles Park on April 18, giving up four runs (two earned) on three hits (one home run) with one walk and two strikeouts in three innings to suffer his second loss of the season.
As usual, it was a clean start. In the first inning, the top three Hanwha batters – Lee Jin-young, Moon Hyun-bin, and Noh Si-hwan – were retired on 11 pitches, including one strikeout. In the second inning, Bae Jae-dae led off with a single to center field to bring in a run.안전놀이터
However, they didn’t get any help from the defense in the second inning. Kim induced back-to-back grounders to leadoff hitter Nick Williams and Kim Tae-yeon, but second baseman Lee Ho-yeon and third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun made back-to-back throwing errors to put runners on second and third with no outs. After Kim In-hwan walked, Kim gave up back-to-back infield singles to Choi Jae-hoon and Choi In-ho to complete the 1-2 comeback.
In the third inning, the team’s concentration was lacking after the second out. After walking Noh Si-hwan on a wild pitch, he gave up a double to Williams. On a 1B-1S count, the 144-kilometer fastball went over the fence. It was her third home run of the season.
Kim continued to be in trouble with a double against the next batter, Kim Tae-yeon, but he struck out Kim In-hwan on three pitches to prevent further damage.
With his pitch count reaching 77, Kim tasted the bitterness of another early exit when he was replaced by Joo in the bottom of the fourth inning, trailing 1-4.
A 2018 first-round pick, Kim, in his sixth year as a professional, joined the starting rotation earlier this month following the injury setback to Uhm Sang-baek after wandering around in the bullpen.
However, in his first game after joining the starting staff, he suffered a loss against KT in Gocheok on March 3 after giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts in three innings, and was pulled early against SSG in Suwon on March 9 after giving up five runs on five hits with three walks and one strikeout in three innings.
There was no reversal in his third start. For the third game in a row, he left the mound after just three innings, unable to fill the void left by Uhm. His ERA during this period reached 12.00 (12 runs in 9 innings).
Second-place KT eventually lost 2-6 to Hanwha, extending their lead over first-place LG to 6.5 games and leaving them one game behind third-place NC. It was a result of the first-round pick pitching below expectations.