Posted August. 19, 2017 07:13,
Updated August. 19, 2017 07:48
A pitcher with an ERA at 2 point level has become a rarity in the Korea Baseball Organization League since 2014 when batters started to outperform pitchers. Only two pitchers posted a 2 point-level ERA during the period, including Yang Hyun-jong (2.44) of the Kia Tigers in 2015 and Dustin Nippert (2.95) of the Doosan Bears. A highly promising candidate who will continue this heritage of rarity this year is Ryan Feierabend of the KT Wiz, who was ranking first in ERA by posting 2.87 as of Friday. Park Se-ung of the Lotte Giants, who previously ranked second by maintaining 2 point level, has fallen to the 3 point level (3.11) lately.
Knuckleballs that he mastered with strong determination were very powerful. His high-speech knuckleballs are tricky enough to confuse batters. Knuckleballs are about 100 kilometers per hour in general, but his knuckleball pitches are about 20 kilometers per hour faster. Also, since knuckleballs do not spin, batters find it difficult to predict which direction such pitches will take. “There are few pitchers who throw knuckleballs in Korea, and batters are outsmarted by Feierabend when facing off the expat pitcher as to what type of pitches they have to swing after two strikes in ball count,“ SBS baseball commentator Seo Jae-eung said.
Feierabend continues to display impressive pitching performances by banking on his "magic pitches" that he mastered through constant practice day after day, but the pitcher is very lonely on the mound. Since he is not backed up by his team’s batters, he has been struggling amid severe deficiency of wins. He has posted seven wins and eight losses overall in this season. He has continued an 11-game losing streak since winning the game against the Lotte Giants on June 3. He has had as many as seven quality starts (QS: 3 or less earned runs when playing six innings or more as starting pitcher) during the period. Fans have been widely expressing regret by saying, “He pitched very well but failed to win.”