6⅓ innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, and 1 run (unearned). These are Doosan Bears right-handed pitcher Lee Young-ha’s performance in the last six games. Not only the results but also the content has improved.
During last season, Lee Young-ha was at the center of controversy due to allegations of school violence during his high school days, and left the team before finishing the season. The Doosan club classified him as an uncontracted pending player while the trial was in progress, and Lee Young-ha, 먹튀검증 who was found not guilty in the first trial on May 31, signed a contract with the club and received 1 contract prior to the away game against KT Wiz on June 3. I joined the military.
However, the sluggish trend after 2020 continued until last year, and Lee Young-ha had difficulty achieving zero points for a while even after his return. In the month of June, he performed poorly with 12 games, 9⅓ innings, 2 losses, 4 holds, and an ERA of 8.68, and in July, he failed to show any significant performance with 6 games, 9⅓ innings, 1 win, and an ERA of 4.82, and was expunged from the first team entry on the 4th of last month.
After completing about two weeks of reorganization, Lee Young-ha returned to the first team on August 20th. His performance after that was decent, with 9 games, 9 innings, 1 win, and an ERA of 1.00, and as time went by, he gradually picked up the pace by showing stable control and excellent pitching skills. In his most recent appearance, against the Gwangju KIA Tigers on the 15th, he came up as the second pitcher after starter Brandon Waddell and pitched 1⅓ innings without allowing any hits or walks.
Lee Young-ha’s rebound is very welcome news from the perspective of Doosan’s sure-to-win team, which survived with four pitchers including Jeong Cheol-won, Hong Geon-hee, Park Chi-guk, and Kim Myung-shin. The head coach is also smiling as he has one more option in bullpen management.
After the 14th game of the season against KIA on the 16th was canceled due to rain, Doosan coach Seung-yeop Lee said, “Lee Young-ha’s pitch was good when he returned in June, but then he was a little motivated and (his condition) got worse,” and “the pitch tempo was a bit off.” “I felt like I lost my rhythm because I was slow and throwing a lot of balls,” he analyzed.
What does Coach Lee think are the factors behind Lee Young-ha’s rebound? He said, “Now that the first pitch strike rate is increasing, it seems like good pitch positions are being utilized well.” He added, “As a result, batters will come out more actively, but if (the pitcher) gets a favorable count first, it can be tricky for the batter. “I think this could be the reason Lee Young-ha shows good pitching,” he said.
In addition to Lee Young-ha, another right-handed reliever, Kim Kang-ryul, also pitched well in the second half of the year with 15 games, 14⅓ innings, 1 win, 2 holds, and an ERA of 2.51. The Doosan bullpen, which was unstable, is slowly regaining stability. The situation is not easy as Park Chi-guk was removed from the first team due to shoulder pain, but if Lee Young-ha continues to throw the ball like now, it is expected to be a great help to Doosan, which is competing for rankings at the end of the season.