“Please wait. It’s coming.”
It would be a day that changed Taylor Widener’s fortunes, and out of a clutch situation came the pitch of the year.
Widener took the mound against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on Wednesday and held them to one run on four hits through seven innings. He struck out eight and dominated the Lotte lineup. He also threw 94 pitches. He led his team to an 8-1 victory.
He was literally on his way out. Prior to the season, he was a highly touted major leaguer who played three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks. However, he went down with a herniated disk before an exhibition game and didn’t join the first team until late May.
He continued to pitch erratically after his KBO debut. He pitched well in his debut on May 30 against the Doosan Bears (six scoreless innings), but he was blasted for nine runs in 4⅔ innings against the Samsung Lions on June 6.
He continued to pitch well after that. Before this game, his record was 3-2 with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games and 54⅔ innings pitched. NC manager Kang Myung-ho himself said, “One game is good, the next is uneasy. It’s not as good as I expected.”
In order to pitch in the postseason, the ‘replaced’ foreign pitcher must be registered by August 15. In the pregame briefing, there was a direct question about Widener’s future.
“It will be decided sooner or later. I can’t say anything more,” he said cautiously. The game was a test of patience and determination, so to speak, for Widener.
Widener breezed through the first two innings, retiring the side in order. In the third inning, he gave up a single to Jung, but got out of the jam with two strikeouts.
The fourth inning was the only threat. After giving up a leadoff double to Goodrum, Jeon Jun-woo singled up the middle. Park Seung-wook followed with a double, but Noh struck out Jin-hyeok to end the inning without further damage.
The next five to seven innings were all triple plays. In the 6th, Kim Min-seok, who has been hitting well lately, struck out Goodrum Jung-hoon in succession. Five of the seven innings were triple plays.
Speaking after the game, Widener said, “I’ve had some good days and some bad days, but I’m glad it went smoothly today. It’s two good results in a row, so I’m pretty happy with that,” he beamed.토토사이트
“I’m feeling better, and thanks to pitching coach Kim Soo-kyung and the trainers, we’ve made a lot of improvements, and I think it all added up to a good result. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them.”
On this day, Widener shaved off his beard to wash away his troubles. “It’s too hot,” he replied with a smile.
What will the NC decide? Did Widener’s life struggle change or solidify the thoughts of NC President Lim Sun-nam?