6G consecutive scoreless innings + all pitches are OK… What does the national hitter think is the reason for Lee’s rebound?
6 1/3 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts, 1 run (unearned). These are the results of the Doosan Bears right-hander’s last six games. Not just the results, but the story.
Lee was at the center of controversy during last season when he was accused of bullying in high school and was released from the team without finishing the season. Doosan classified him as an unsigned pending player while the trial was ongoing, and after being acquitted in the first trial on May 31, Lee signed a contract with the club and was promoted to the first team ahead of the June 3 away game against KT Wiz.메이저놀이터
However, his poor form from 2020 continued into last year, and even after his return, Lee struggled to find the net for a while. After struggling in June with an 8.68 ERA in 12 games, 9 1/3 innings, two losses, and four holds, he didn’t do much better in July with a 4.82 ERA in six games, 9 1/3 innings, and one win, and was removed from the first team roster on July 4.
After about two weeks of rehabilitation, Lee returned to the first team on Aug. 20. His performance since then has been solid, with a 1-0 record and a 1.00 ERA in nine games, and he’s gradually picked up the pace over time, displaying steady control and excellent command of his pitches. In his most recent outing, against the Gwangju KIA Tigers on Friday, he came in as the second pitcher behind starter Brandon Waddell and tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings without a hit or walk.
Young-ha’s rebound has been a welcome one for Doosan, who have had to rely on four pitchers – Jung Chul-won, Hong Gun-hee, Park Chi-guk, and Kim Myung-shin. The manager, who has one more option in the bullpen, is also smiling.
“When Lee Young-ha came back in June, he was pitching well, but he was a little motivated then, and then (his condition) got worse,” Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said after the team’s 14th game of the season against KIA was canceled due to rain.
“I think he’s making good use of his pitches because he’s getting a higher percentage of first-pitch strikes,” Lee said. “That makes hitters come out aggressively, but it can be tricky for hitters when (pitchers) get a favorable count. I think that’s why Lee is pitching so well.”
In addition to Lee, another right-handed reliever, Kim Kang-ryul, has been solid in the second half of the season, going 1-0 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 games with 14⅓ innings pitched. With Park Chi-guk removed from the first-team roster due to a sore shoulder, things aren’t as easy, but if Lee Young-ha continues to pitch as well as he has been, it will be a big boost for Doosan as they battle for the final spot in the standings.