“I want to wear number 47.” LG left-handed pitcher Kim Yun-sik changed his number from 57 to 47 ahead of this season. He ‘dared’ to choose a number that LG pitchers have only ever looked up to.
No. 47. This is the number that commentator Lee Sang-hoon wore during his playing days. For a while, no player shied away from the symbolism. Bong Joong-geun wore it in 2007 and 2008, and Lee Hyung-jong wore it for a season in 2009 when he was a pitcher. Catcher Cho Yoon-joon wore it from 2012 to 2015, and then the number 47 was reclaimed by Coach Lee Sang-hoon when he returned to LG.
When Lee left the LG, the number 47 became vacant again. Kim Yun-sik took matters into his own hands, saying in a club YouTube video in February, “In the middle to late part of the (2022) season, I asked the head coach to give me number 47. I went to former coach Lee Sang-hoon and asked if I could wear it and got permission. I wanted to wear it since I joined the team,” he said.
In fact, this was a time when Kim’s stock was rising. Thanks to his impressive performance in the second half of 2022. Kim Yun-sik became a completely different pitcher in the second half of last year when he opened his eyes to game management as a starter. He had a 0.85 ERA in his last seven games. That’s the best record in the league since August 20.
In the playoffs, although he didn’t get the win, he was not far behind MVP candidate and Golden Glove winner Kiwoom An-woo-jin.
In Game 3 of the playoffs on October 27 at Gocheok Sky Dome, Kim pitched 5⅔ innings, allowing one run on three hits with four walks and three strikeouts. Ahn Woo-jin gave up two runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six innings. In the starting matchup, Kiwoom was considered to be heavily favored, and the result was a 6-7 loss for LG, but as long as Kim Yoon-sik was on the mound, LG had hope.
Kim’s late-season performance and postseason success earned him a spot on the World Baseball Classic (WBC) roster, but trying to prepare for his first international tournament, and one that would take place right before the start of the World Baseball Classic, didn’t go well. The WBC made him look like a pitcher who couldn’t throw strikes.굿모닝토토 주소
This was a bad start to the season. Kim was in the starting rotation for the opening day, but by June, he had gone 3-4 with a 5.29 ERA in 11 games and was cut from the first team. He decided he needed to rebuild his body.
“I couldn’t do the things I usually do because of the WBC, so my training wasn’t going well. It was not easy to build my body. I wish I had taken the time to train after I got back, and I wish I had done the summer camp right after I got back. I don’t want to make excuses, but if I’m selected again in the future, I want to do better based on this experience. It was a good experience.”
In addition, while Kim Yoon-sik was in ‘summer camp,’ LG’s rotation changed dramatically. Choi Won-tae was traded and wore the LG uniform, and Lee Jung-yong successfully switched positions. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop cracked the whip by saying that Kim Yoon-sik and Lee Min-ho might not have spots even during the roster expansion period.
Even after returning in September, Kim Yun-sik was unable to replicate his dazzling pitching from the second half of last year. In five games in September, he won three games with a 1.93 ERA, but didn’t have a single quality start.
Manager Yoon Kyung-yup Yeom was not easily convinced, even though Kim Yun-sik was touted as a potential starter ahead of the Korean Series. Even when Plutko left the team due to injury, Lee Jung-yong was able to secure the rotation with repeated quality starts.
However, after much deliberation, coach Yeom Kyung-yup chose Kim Yun-sik. To be precise, he limited Kim Yoon-sik’s chances to one start in Game 4 because he thought Lee Jung-yong was more versatile. After Game 2 on the 8th, he even considered switching Casey Kelly to Game 4 to avoid the cliffhanger if he dropped Game 3 on the 10th.
Thanks to LG’s incredible 8-7 comeback win in Game 3, Kim Yoon-sik was the Game 4 starter. With only one chance to make amends, Kim was back to being a ‘big game pitcher’. He pitched 5⅔ innings of one-run ball in the cold and under pressure to protect the series lead. It was LG’s first win in the Korean Series.
Kim Yun-sik said, “I thought, ‘I’ll pitch today no matter what. Even if it doesn’t work out, I can at least show one or two games in the middle. I was greedy, but I didn’t think about it. My goal was to show in the spot I was given,” he said, adding, “I won yesterday, so I was able to go out with a relaxed mind.”
“Chan-gyu (Lim, who started Game 3) also pitched well, so I felt comfortable,” he added, referring to his brother who helped him when he was struggling to find the feel for his changeup and curve. Even as he was busy preparing to pitch in Game 3, the prospective free agent gave Kim advice. “I want to play with you personally, and I think you’re a player the team needs. I’ve learned and grown a lot thanks to Chanyeol. I learned a lot of things outside of baseball. I’m grateful.”
Kim Yun-sik said, “I had a hard time this season. I didn’t have a good position and suffered from injuries. I’ve seen things that I shouldn’t have. Even at the end, when the team needed a win, I think it’s comforting to be able to fulfill expectations. It was a very disappointing season, but I think I helped in one way. I think I made a good save.”
Meanwhile, LG swept KT 15-4 in Game 4 to take the series 3-1 and remain just one win away from their first title in 29 years. Game 5 will be held on April 13 at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.