NC Tanner, who made his KBO League debut, “Renewed cheering culture…will strive for team victory.

“Pitching in a league with a different fan support culture was a new experience, and I had a lot of fun while pitching. I’m looking forward to helping the team win.”

Tanner Tully, the NC Dinos’ new 꽁머니지급 foreign pitcher, shared his thoughts on his KBO debut.

Tanner started a home game against the Hanwha Eagles of the 2023 KBO Baseball League at Changwon NC Park on the 15th.

Tanner making his KBO debut against the Hanwha Eagles in Changwon on Friday. Photo courtesy of NC
It was a shaky start. He gave up a solo shot to Noh Si-hwan in the top of the first inning, but he retired the next two innings, the third, fourth, and fifth consecutively, especially the third, fourth, and fifth, which were all triple plays.

In the top of the sixth, he gave up a single and a sacrifice bunt to Lee Do-yoon and Moon Hyun-bin, respectively, before giving up a two-run shot over the right field fence to Nick Williams. He retired the next two batters and didn’t allow another run.

His final line was six innings, two hits, two walks, four strikeouts, and three earned runs to earn a quality start (six or more innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed). He fanned 86 batters and utilized his fastball (34 pitches), which measured up to 144 mph, the most, along with his slider (29 pitches), changeup (18 pitches), and curveball (5 pitches). The win was irrelevant as his team, the NC, battled Hanwha to a 3-3 draw in extra innings.

After the game, Tanner said, “It felt good to pitch in front of the fans for the first time and to get some chemistry with my teammates,” adding, “I was able to keep my energy up and pitch with a lot of help from the defense.”

Tanner, who signed with the NC as a replacement for Taylor Widener (Samsung Lions), who was released due to ups and downs, is no stranger to the American scene. He was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 draft and made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut last year. In the big leagues, he has a 6.00 ERA with no wins or losses in three games, and in the minor leagues, he has a 44-51 record with a 4.18 ERA in 159 games (131 starts). For Tanner, the most surprising aspect of his KBO debut was the enthusiastic support from baseball fans.

“Pitching in a league with a different fan support culture was a new experience, and I had a lot of fun while pitching. Even though we didn’t get a win today, I will try to do my part and lead the team to victory in the future.”