Ahn Woo-jin’s strikeout pace ‘surpassed’ the late Choi Dong-won, but why has it dropped slightly?

Kiwoom ace Ahn Woo-jin (24) is considered one of the best Korean pitchers in baseball. She won two awards last year, including a 2.11 ERA and 224 strikeouts.

His strikeouts were the second most in a single season in history. Ariel Miranda’s 225 strikeouts in 2021 with Doosan surpassed the record of 223 set by the late Choi Dong-won with Lotte in 1984. Ahn is one short of the record for a Korean player.

This year, Ahn also leads the league in strikeouts, with 161, 15 ahead of second-place Eric Peddy (NC). However, it is not easy to guarantee a second consecutive strikeout title. With 40 games remaining for NC and 27 for Kiwoom, Pedi may have more chances.

Ahn’s strikeout pace seems to have dropped slightly from last year. In 30 games in 2022, Ahn struck out 224 batters, nearly 7.5 per game. That was nearly 30 more strikeouts than the next closest player, Drew Ruchinski (NC at the time). This year, Ahn has 161 strikeouts in 23 games, or just over seven per game.

On the 25th, Ahn started against Samsung in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, and pitched six innings of seven-hit ball with two walks and two strikeouts in a 7-4 win. He earned his ninth win of the season (7-0). She struck out one.

After the game, Ahn analyzed, “I’ve been trying not to give up runs on the mound, so I tend to pitch with my fastball like I did today.” “Then the batters can handle it, so I don’t strike out,” he said. “Last year, I had a lot of different pitches, but this year, I’m more inclined to go with my fastball,” he added.

That’s why he plans to use a variety of pitches in the remaining games. “For the next game, I will discuss with the power analysis team and mix in my curveball,” Ahn said, “but if I don’t get an advantage in the ball count, I will pay more attention to my fastball.”

In fact, Ahn has been throwing more fastballs this year than last. Last year, he threw 38.3% of his pitches to righties and 47.2% to lefties, and this year, he threw 43.3% of his pitches to righties and 57.1% to lefties. The percentage of his strikeout pitches also increased from 31% to 34%, which means he threw a lot of fastballs.메이저놀이터

However, Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki had a different interpretation. “Because he pitched so well last year, opposing hitters are analyzing him and preparing for him,” Hong said before the 26th game, “and they’re trying to match him in any way they can to make in-play hits, so his strikeouts are bound to go down.”

Ahn has been solid this year with a 2.43 ERA. However, he hasn’t had the same luck in the win column, going 9-7. “That’s the fate of an ace,” Hong said, adding, “It’s not easy for hitters to score runs because they are likely to face the opponent’s number one starter.”

“I’ve been told that I’m unlucky, but if this continues, it will put pressure on the batters, and I want to get rid of that at the end,” Ahn said. “I want to make sure the team wins the rest of the games when I pitch,” he emphasized.

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