“If you are jagged, you lose trust.”
KIA Tigers Sean Anderson (29) started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes and away game held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 14th. On this day, he recorded 5 hits, 2 runs, 9 strikeouts in 7 innings. He showed pitching quality start plus (pitching less than 3 earned runs in 7 starting innings). Although KIA lost 1-2, Anderson performed his duties perfectly.
Anderson, who was also notified of futures league after sluggish performance. It seems that he is gradually finding a sense of stability. In the match against Gwangju SSG Landers on the 8th, which was the previous appearance, he recorded 5 ⅓ innings, 2 walks, 3 runs and 5 strikeouts. However, the head coach was not quick to judge that Anderson had rebounded in just one game. He was in the position that he could give faith only when he continued good pitching in two consecutive games.
Before the game, coach Kim Jong-guk said, “Anderson has to do more than 6 innings. Still, he did better than before he went down to the Futures League. If he can’t do it today, he can’t. If his performance fluctuates, his credibility will go down. I can do it,” he said, expecting Anderson to show a good figure.
And Anderson perfectly lived up to the command tower’s beliefs. In the first inning, Kim Joon-wan struck out, Kim Hye-seong hit shortstop ground ball, and Lee Jung-hoo threw a ground ball in front of the pitcher, ending the inning with a three-way exit. In the second inning, Lim Byeong-wook got a hit, but Kiwoom blocked the line without a run.
Anderson threw a good mix of fastballs and breaking balls reaching mid-140km in the 3rd inning, blocking Kiwoom’s other line. Lee Ji-young and Lee Won-seok were struck out, and Kim Joon-wan was grounded to third base.
The 4th inning yielded points. Conceding a tie with a 1-0 lead. Anderson hit a 146 km long fastball thrown at Lee Jung-hoo after one out and hit a triple through left-center. Afterwards, he got a heavy hit from Edison Russell and recorded the first run of the game that day.
Anderson quickly erased the 5th inning. I lost again in the 6th. The root of the problem was a triple hit by lead batter Kim Hye-seong that cut through the middle right. He caught follow-up hitter Lee Jung-hoo with a fly ball in right field, but could not prevent third base runner Kim Hye-seong from entering the home field. The lead was lost, but Anderson caught the follow-up hitter, Russell, with a shortstop grounder and struck out Byeong-wook Lim.안전놀이터
Anderson, who was on the mound in the 7th inning, did not concede any more runs. Leading batter Lee Hyeong-jong got on base with a wild throw, but Song Seong-moon was fouled out, Lim Ji-yeol was right fielder’s floating ball, and Lee Won-seok was struck out to finish the day’s game.
Anderson has performed beyond expectations. He went 3-2 with a 2.58 earned run average in 6 games in April, and returned to Anderson’s form. In May, he was sluggish with an average ERA of 7.71 in 4 games and 3 losses, but in June, he showed signs of rebound with 2 games and 1 loss and an average ERA of 3.65. What did Kim Jong-kook think from the dugout as he looked at Anderson?