“It feels so good.”바카라사이트

Kiwoom Heroes substitute foreign pitcher Ian McKinney started a home game against SSG Landers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome Esery on the 1st. He pitched six innings of three-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts. His quality start (six innings pitched with three earned runs or less) helped Kiwoom to a 6-3 victory and earned him his first win in the KBO.

After the game, McKinney was congratulated by his teammates. The pitching staff came out onto the field with water bottles and waited for McKinney to finish his interview. When McKinney left the interview area, the pitchers splashed him with water and congratulated him on his first win.

He was drenched, but he felt great. “I feel really good. It felt really good to get the win today,” said McKinney. “We made a lot of good plays in defence, and I had good chemistry with my catcher, Kim Dong-heon. It was a team effort today,” he said, giving credit to his teammates.

McKinney, who was in trouble in the fourth inning but closed out the fifth and sixth innings with a triple play, said, “I should have taken two strikes and tried to be more precise with my pitches. I was so focused on my pitches that I didn’t listen to them. Even after I got two strikes, I think I should have pitched the game as if it was an early count,” he reflected.

He also adjusted to the KBO’s official ball. “It’s different from what I’m used to in the States,” McKinney said. In the U.S., we usually pitch with mud on the ball. In Korea, they throw a brand new ball. It has a stickier feel to it. I’ve been using rosin every inning and it’s paying off.”

At the time of his signing, Kiwoom described McKinney’s main weapon as a curveball. But in South Korea, McKinney has been using his changeup as his primary pitch. “I don’t feel like my curve is working as well. The changeup works better for me. I think it can be stronger if I utilise the difference in velocity between my fastball and my changeup,” he said, expressing confidence in his changeup.

“They seem to be a lot of contact type hitters. They foul a lot and try to make as many in-play hits as possible.” He added, “American hitters have big swings, so they have a high percentage of false swings and are able to get strikes. In the KBO, I think I need to attack the strike zone more aggressively. I think I need to make some adjustments,” he said, vowing to do better.

The Korean food has also been a perfect fit. “The ramen is really good,” McKinney said. Pork belly and bulgogi are also good, but I’ve had them in the States. It’s a little different from Korea because it’s localised,” he laughs.

It’s not uncommon for former major leaguers to struggle in the KBO. It’s not all about the past. McKinney has spent his entire career in the minor leagues, most recently in the independent leagues. That might seem like a bit of a disadvantage, but McKinney is determined to overcome preconceived notions.

“The independent leagues I’ve played in are top-tier,” he says. A lot of the players were former major leaguers or Triple-A players. It was a more competitive league than I thought it would be. I want to break the (negative) perception of me,” he said, vowing to succeed in the KBO.

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