It didn’t take long for the question mark to change to an exclamation mark.
Shawn Anderson (29), a new foreign pitcher for the KIA Tigers, made a strong impression in his KBO League debut. Anderson gave up 6 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 2 strikeouts and 3 runs in 6⅔ innings against SSG Landers held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 1st. As the team lost 1-4, Anderson became the losing pitcher, but he did his part by pitching a quality start (6 or more innings, 3 earned runs or less) in his first pitch.
He was anxious about starting. In the first inning, Anderson was hit with a superior solo shot by lead batter Choo Shin-soo, and after that, both batters hit balls were caught in front of the fence, showing an uneasy appearance. In the second inning, he conceded another run after consecutive hits followed by a base and a timely hit. However, after one lap, Anderson demonstrated excellent game management skills and demonstrated the skill to prevent additional runs. He gave up one more point as Kim Ki-hoon gave up three consecutive walks after coming down from the mound for the successor runner after two outs in the sixth inning. Although it is regrettable that he conceded, he fully lived up to the KIA bench’s belief that he hoped that he would be responsible for long innings with efficient pitches. Rather, it was a regrettable match that the scoring support of the other line, who failed to properly use the chance situation after picking the first point in the first inning, could not follow suit. 메이저놀이터
Anderson, who signed a contract with KIA for a total of $1 million, focused on improving pitching condition during spring camp and demonstration games. He is an orthodox right-hander with a maximum of 154km fastball, slider, two-seam, curve, and changeup, and is expected to achieve a ‘one-two punch’ with Adonis Medina this season. He had a 1.20 earned run average in 15 innings pitched in three exhibition games. At the beginning of the demonstration game, his pitching was shaky, but he found a sense of stability as he went on the mound.
The hot topic was who would be the starting pitcher for KIA in this opening game. With Yang Hyeon-jong and Eui-ri Lee not in 100% condition in the aftermath of the 2023 WBC appearance, attention was focused on which of Anderson and Medina would be on the mound in the opening game. It is true that the possibility of winning the opening match was slightly tilted amid the analysis that Medina, who spreads two-seams over 150 km without difficulty, was more difficult than Anderson until the demonstration game. The SSG game clearly revealed why the KIA bench selected Anderson as the starter for the opening game.
KIA suffered from a headache in the first half of last season due to foreign pitchers. Ronnie was out of luck, and Nolin was suffering from an injury, and the load on the mound was considerable. Nolin returned in the second half and did his part, and Thomas Panoni, who joined as a substitute, also contributed to the fall baseball by fighting back, but it is true that he wished he had played an active role sooner. With Anderson showing good form in the opening game, if he settles down to Medina, KIA’s move this season can be colored differently.