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Korea-Japan Pitchers Surprise Major League

Posted April. 30, 2002 09:09,   


***Kim Byung-Hyun scores another one in two days… 5 saves***

`0.93 ERA in 5 opportunities for save.`

Such number is a satisfactory competence for finishing. Arizona Diamondback’s Kim Byung-Hyun (23) has gained momentum on his `perfect` saving.

Kim, who earned a save just two days before, participated in the out-match with the Major League’s Florida Marlins that occurred at Pro Player Stadium on the 29th, and allowed 2 hits during 1 and one third inning but recorded the season’s 5th save by seizing 3 strikeouts.

The day’s save was more valuable, since it barely sustained 1-point lead.

The team was leading by 5-4 in the 8th inning with 2 outs and 1st, 2nd bases occupied. Kim came onto the mound after Mike Myers to strikeout Derek Lee with 3 balls.

In the 9th inning, he fell into crisis, as 2 hits were scored to claim 1st and 2nd bases with 1 out, but Kim seized 2 more strikeouts and made a foul fly to conclude the game. Arizona won 5-4.

Kim’s offensive pitching that threw 15 out 16 balls as strikes put him on the 10th rank of the national league save. He is only a save behind 40 saves in the personal total.

***Ishii wins his first 5 decisions in a row***

`Ishii storm` is hitting the Major League hard.

Japanese left-handed pitcher Ishii Kazuhisa (29. LA Dodgers) led the team’s 5-4 victory against Chicago Cubs on the 29th, as he scored 8 strikeouts during 7 innings and 3 hits with 1 loss point.

Therefore, Ishii came to record 3.03 ERA winning 5 consecutive matches since debut, and he also became 2nd on the most-wins list of the entire league after Randy Johnson (6 wins. Arizona Diamondbacks). He also became the first Los Angeles rookie to win the most decisions since Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

If Ishii maintains this pace, 4th rookie award for the Japanese, following Nomo Hideo (LA Dodgers) in 1995, Sasaki Kazuhiro in 2000, and Suzuki Ichiro in 2001 (both Seattle Mariners), is highly possible.

However, analysts point out that Ishii’s 5 consecutive wins were rather lucky compared to Valenzuela, who scored 5 complete wins in 1981 and recorded 0.50 ERA during 8 matches.

Ishii made his first debut at Yakult Swallows in 1992, and is an orthodox left-handed pitcher, who recorded 78 wins, 46 losses, 1 save, and 3.38 ERA during 10 years in Japan. His main weapons are fastballs that reach up to 150 kilometers per hour, well-controlled sliders, and fork balls.

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com · Hwan-Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com