Na Gyun-an is leveling the league.

Lotte Giants’ Na Kyun-ahn started the fourth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Samsung Lions at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on September 9.

Na, who was having his best season of the year with a 5-1 record and a 2.55 ERA before the game, received some good news before his start. He was named to the national team for the Hangzhou Asian Games. It was his first senior national team call-up since his professional debut.

“I still can’t believe that I’ve been selected for the national team,” he told the club ahead of the game. I can’t afford to get too excited because I’ll be 메이저사이트 starting on the day. I’ll focus more on today’s game and do my best to show that I’m worthy of being selected,” he said.

It was a clean first inning. Kim Ji-chan and Kim Hyun-jun both singled to left field and Jose Pirela hit a single, but Kang Min-ho also flied out to left field.

There was a close call in the second inning. He got Kim Dong-yeop to ground out to shortstop and Oh Jae-il to strike out, but in the process of handling Lee Jae-hyun, he was hit by a hard-hit ball from Lee Jae-hyun. Luckily, he was able to shake it off, but it was hard enough to worry everyone. Na Gyun-an then got Lee Sung-kyu to fly out to shortstop.

There was a crisis in the third inning. Kim Ho-jae, the leadoff hitter, gave up a single. Kim grounded out Kim Ji-chan and Kim Hyun-joon, but allowed Pirela to walk, putting runners on first and second. Fortunately, he got Kang Min-ho to strike out swinging. In the fourth inning, Kim Dong-yeop led off with a single, but Yoon Dong-hee made a great play in right field to get Oh Jae-il to fly out. He then induced a double play to end the inning with Lee Jae-hyun at the plate.

In the fifth, he walked Lee Sung-kyu and Kim Ho-jae before giving up a double to Kim Ji-chan, but induced Kim Hyun-joon to ground out to the pitcher. In the fifth inning, the bats came alive with a four-run big inning, easing Na’s shoulders.

But in the sixth, he gave up back-to-back singles to Pirela and Kang Min-ho. He struck out Kim Dong-yeop, but gave up a walk to Oh Jae-il to load the bases. He was strong in the clutch. He hit Kim Tae-gun with a sacrifice fly and then tagged out Kang Min-ho, who was heading from second to third. Lee’s judgment was good. Na Gyun-an also gave a thumbs up.

Na Gyun-ahn came up in the seventh inning. He gave up a leadoff single to Lee Sung-gyu, but struck out Kim Jae-sang on a wild pitch, grounded out to Kim Ji-chan, and got Kim Hyun-joon to ground out to first base to end the inning.

That was it for Na Kyun-ahn. He pitched seven innings, allowing one run on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts. It was his ninth quality start of the season (six starts with three or fewer earned runs) and fourth quality start+ (seven starts with three or fewer earned runs). He also lowered his ERA to 2.43 from 2.55. Lotte won the game 5-1 behind the strong pitching of Na Kyun-ahn. Na picked up his sixth win of the season and moved into a tie for first place in the QS.

In addition to his reliable delivery, Na has been dominating opposing batters with his potent forkball. As everyone knows, Na comes from a catcher’s background. In the 2020 season, he played both pitcher and catcher before switching to pitching entirely and changing his name from Na Jong-duk to Na Kyun-an.

After slowly showing promise, he made a big breakthrough last season. This season, in his fourth year as a pitcher, he has fully established himself as Lotte’s number one starter.

After the game, Sutton said, “Kyun-ahn Na had an incredible game. He proved today why he was selected for the national team.”

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