KIA Tigers’ Lee Yi-ri (21) suffered extreme ups and downs early in the season. His recent four-start winning streak has put those concerns to rest.
On Tuesday, Lee started against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul and pitched six innings of four-hit ball with three walks and four strikeouts.
After retiring the side in order in the first and second innings, Lee faltered in the third. He gave up a single to Kim Jae-ho, a walk to Kang Seung-ho and a bunt single to Jung Soo-bin to load the bases. Lee then got Kim Dae-hyun to ground out to second base, but gave up back-to-back pinch-hit singles to Lee Yoo-chan and Yang Yang-ji.
The bases loaded crisis continued. Lee gave up a sacrifice fly to Yang Seok-hwan, but got Heo Kyung-min to ground out to shortstop to avoid a big inning.
In the fourth inning, Lee got leadoff hitter Song Seung-hwan to fly out to right field and then gave up back-to-back singles to Kim Jae-ho and Kang Seung-ho. However, he retired the next two batters, Jung Soo-bin and Kim Dae-hyun, on a pitcher’s choice and a swinging strikeout, respectively.
Lee cruised again. He didn’t allow a run in the fifth and sixth innings to complete his quality start. KIA capitalized on Lee’s performance to secure a 6-3 victory. Lee improved to 6-3 on the season and completed a four-start winning streak.
After the game, Lee reflected on his performance, saying, “There’s one big crisis in every game, and I’m glad I didn’t give up more runs.”
“I think I gave up a run in one inning (the third) because I allowed the leadoff hitter to walk, and I was trying to keep it in the strike zone to win the game quickly,” he reflected.
“In the next inning, I tried to throw harder like I was used to throwing, and it worked out well because I got my balance back,” he said.안전놀이터
Earlier in the season, Lee hadn’t quite lived up to expectations, with some erratic pitches. However, he has been able to close out his outings with minimal runs and give his team a chance to win. In four of the last five games, Lee has gone five innings or more, extending his start streak to four.
“In my next game, I will try to minimize my ups and downs during the game,” said Lee. I’m encouraged by the fans’ support every time I start a game. I’m always grateful for that.”