The start is perfect.

Lotte Giants left-hander Shim Jae-min started against the Kia Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on March 13. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts. A rain delay in the sixth inning sealed the 3-1 victory and earned him the win. This is the first time since his debut.안전놀이터

He was drafted by KT in June 2013. He made his first team debut with KT in 2015. He gained experience through various positions in the team. In May, he joined Lotte via trade, swapping jerseys with infielder Lee Ho-yeon.

He was not immediately called up to the first team. He honed his skills in the second team. On June 22, he was called up. Since then, he’s been playing in the middle infield. The turning point came on June 17 against SSG. He started and gave up two runs in three innings. It wasn’t perfect, but it showed promise.

Opportunities followed. On the 7th of this month, he caught the eye of his manager by pitching 5 innings and 1 run against Samsung. This time, he proved himself by pitching 5 innings and 1 run in 2 consecutive games against KIA. His total pitch count was 75 (46 strikes). His fastball topped out at 143 kilometers per hour (30), along with a changeup (21), curveball (19), and slider (5). He finally earned a valuable first start.

Shim said, “I try to throw more strikes than balls every game. I tried to put the ball in the strike zone as much as possible without thinking about the pitch count. “KIA has a lot of hitters who are strong against fastballs. I had a changeup in mind before the game and it worked out well,” he smiled.

“Every time I started, I thought I wanted to get the win, but I didn’t have much ambition. “I’ve been in the bullpen, so I knew that if the start goes down quickly, it’s hard to get through the middle innings, so I tried to go long,” he said.

“I was in the second team after the trade, and (Lee) Ho-yeon was doing well in KT, so I saw a lot of articles about him. I was also impatient. I felt like I had to show something,” he said. “I worked out a lot in the second team, mainly running. I also focused on weight training to manage my weight,” he explained.

“I have an impatient personality (laughs). I wanted to get to the first team as soon as possible by working out hard and managing well. I just wanted to do well,” he recalled.

Despite his success, there are still things he would like to improve. “I want to make a quality start (at least six innings and no more than three earned runs), but it’s too hard in the fifth inning,” he laughed. “This time, I thought, ‘Let’s throw like hell until the sixth inning,’ but it was raining a lot. I focused on one inning at a time and tried to last until the fifth inning.”

He often hears people say that starting pitching is his constitution. “Honestly, I’m tired to death,” said Shim. It was hard to get out in the first inning, but somehow I managed to get through the fifth inning.” “I don’t think I became a starter just because I pitched well in a few games. Pitching coach Kim Hyun-wook also told me to work on my innings, fastball, changeup timing, and location,” he said.

The national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games will convene on March 23 and begin its first training session. Park Se-woong and Na Kyun-an will be absent from the Lotte starting lineup. “Being selected is a chance to pitch responsibly in every game,” said Shim. If I am given a task, I will do my best to fulfill it,” said Shim.

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