‘ERA 6s → ERA 0s’ Ace mode with a single forkball… Foreign ace ‘injured’, trade pitcher ‘slumping’, and first starter.

Pitcher Lee Jung-yong will be another LG hit this season.

Last year, Lee struggled early in the season with erratic pitching. He tried to make the transition to a starting pitcher and has been “untouchable” since August. He has created the image of the most reliable pitcher on the LG starting mound 메이저놀이터.

Lee started the game against Hanwha at Jamsil Stadium on April 1 and pitched six innings of five-hit, five-strikeout, one-walk baseball to earn the win.

He walked the leadoff batter in the first inning, but retired batters 2-4 on infield hits. The leadoff hitter, Noh Si-hwan, struck out the side with a slider.

The second inning ended with a strikeout and the third with a strikeout. With two outs in the fourth, he gave up a single to deep center field and a walk. With runners on first and second, he struck out Jang Jin-hyuk on a forked ball.

Leading 4-0 in the sixth, back-to-back singles by Lee Do-yoon and Noh Si-hwan put runners on first and second with no outs. Lee struck out Chae Eun-sung on a fly ball to the left-center field fence and Kim Tae-yeon on a forked ball. Jang Jin-hyuk flied out to right field to end the inning.

Lee was back on the mound for the first time in 16 days after his start was pushed back due to rainouts in two consecutive LG games. While rest is beneficial for physical strength, it can also put a strain on maintaining a sense of urgency. Contrary to his worries, Lee’s pitches were better than before, as he was adjusting to the long break.

In the first game against Hanwha, Lee threw a fastball (33 pitches), a changeup, a forkball (25 pitches), a slider (17 pitches), and a curveball (11 pitches). As he transitioned into the starting role, he actively used his new and refined forkball and curveball.

“I don’t think I’m easier to face because I have a forkball, but I think the fastball is the number one pitch for a pitcher. I focus on my fastball because it’s the only thing that keeps my other pitches alive,” he said, adding that he pays the most attention to his fastball location and delivery.

As a bullpen pitcher, a fastball and a slider were enough for him, but as a starter, he needs a changeup to throw long innings and face the same batter multiple times. With the help of his teammates, Lee learned to throw a curveball and a forkball. “The curveball is completely new to me. I tried throwing the forkball as an amateur. The forkball has been my secret weapon since camp,” he said.

Lee has won all three of his recent starts. In four starts since August, he has allowed two runs in 23 innings with a 0.78 ERA. This is a dramatic turnaround from his 6.27 ERA at the end of July.

Among KBO pitchers since August, KT Cuevas has been dominant, going 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA in five games (36 innings). He is followed by Lee Jung-yong. He’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in four games (23 innings). These are the stats of an ace pitcher.

LG’s starting rotation is missing foreign pitcher Plutko, who is out 4-5 weeks with a left pelvic bone contusion. He is expected to return in early October at the end of the season. Kelly, last year’s winner, has struggled in his fifth year in the KBO with the lowest ERA (4.28).

Choi, acquired in a trade from Kiwoom