Go to contents

Cardinals’ Kim Kwang-hyun makes a successful spring start

Cardinals’ Kim Kwang-hyun makes a successful spring start

Posted February. 28, 2020 07:31,   

Updated February. 28, 2020 07:31


St. Louis Cardinals’ Kim Kwang-hyun has made a successful debut as starting pitcher in the Major League Baseball.

In his first outing as starting pitcher in the Big League, the 32-year-old Korean pitcher kept a clean sheet through two innings, striking out three Miami batters at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Florida. By capping a clean outing by striking out two hitters against the Mets on Sunday, Kim satisfied his coaching staff with reliable performance as starter.

The South Korean seemed to prove the point that he was born to be a starting pitcher. Having retired Jonathan Villar, a veteran batter boasting 779 career games in the MLB, on a groundout to third, Kim didn’t allow a single hit in subduing six batters over the two innings. Kim overwhelmed Marlins hitters, containing all the hits within the infield. Miami’s slugger Jesus Aguilar was also struck out merely on five pitches. Kim’s fastest pitch on Sunday was 148km/h, but on Thursday it ramped up to 151km/h.

In the Marlins game, Kim threw to Yadier Molina, who is considered one of the best catchers in MLB. “This was my first pitch with Molina, and now I understand the hype,” Kim said in an interview after the game. “He is very much experienced.”

“The Korean left hander largely was unhittable,” said the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, extolling him for his impeccable performance of retiring six Marlins hitters with a mix of sharp breaking balls and a low-to-mid-90s fastball. The Associated Press also praised his ability to control ball speed at will and elicit ugly swings with his sliders.

Bae-Jung Kim wanted@donga.com