KT’s Ko Young-pyo (32) extended his streak of quality starts (QS) to 10 consecutive games with at least six innings pitched and no more than three earned runs allowed. For the season as a whole, he has earned 16 QS in 20 appearances. Since June, he has gone at least seven innings in all but one of his nine starts (6.2 innings against the NC on July 2). His pitching is worthy of being called the best submarine in the KBO.
Ko started against Doosan on June 6 at Jamsil Stadium and pitched through the seventh inning, allowing one run on five hits. After giving up a leadoff double to Jose Rojas in the bottom of the sixth inning, he gave up a run on a wild pitch when Kim In-tae batted second and third.
His pitches weren’t perfect in the heat, but he was able to deflect Doosan batters with his intentional one-bound changeup and surprise high fastball, not just to the left and right of home plate. Adding a changeup to his fastball, which is hard to recognize until it starts to change, he went seven innings without a single threat.
His only “freebie” was a single to Kang Seung-ho in the bottom of the seventh inning after his pitch count exceeded 90. There was no sign of fatigue on the pitcher’s face after his eight-inning no-hitter (97 pitches) against SSG in Suwon on the first day. On the contrary, he dominated the mound with a smile on his face, relaxed and confident.
Watching Ko pitch from the stands behind the catcher’s box, I could see why hitters struggle with his pitches. From his windup position, he lifts his leg and makes a pause, but the timing is different every time. When I took the ball out of my glove and moved it into the loaded position, the fastball, changeup, and curve were subtly different, but at the batter’s eye level, they were indistinguishable.
The way he rotates his left arm from third base to home plate makes it difficult to see the moment the ball leaves his hand. He has a great feel for releasing the ball, and I also noticed that when he releases the same ball, he fine-tunes his wrist movement to target the inside and outside of the body. As a hitter, the reaction time is too short to understand the wrist movement at the moment of release, making it difficult to read the course.
The long pitching tunnel makes it difficult to predict his pitches, and if you can’t even read the course, you have to literally ‘hit the ball and hit the ball’. His changeup, which drops, and his curveball, which spins and bends, start at the same height as his fastball, so there is less chance of ball-bat contact. That’s why he can overpower hitters even with a fastball in the low 140s.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, when he gave up a single to Heo Kyung-min with runners on first and third, he had thrown 101 pitches. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol had already come to the mound to check his fatigue and said, “I’ll take charge until the seventh inning,” so Ko Young-pyo took charge of the inning while Park Young-hyun was still warming up.메이저놀이터
His efforts to stay calm during the crisis also stood out. With Lee Yoo-chan on first base, he used back-to-back strikes to catch his breath and draw out the batters’ impatience. After inducing a routine fly to left field with a slow 113-kilometer-per-hour curveball to Jung Soo-bin, Ko pumped his fist in the air, lowering his ERA to 2.44. He left the mound with just six outs in his third straight season of double-digit wins. The double-digit wins in three consecutive seasons is a first for KT.