“If you look at his gesture, he almost won the Korean Series.” After roaring on the mound to save the bases loaded, Im Chan-kyu performed a special gesture that he had promised play-by-play announcer Lee Dae-hyung before the game, raising the team’s spirits.
Riding a seven-game winning streak, the LG Twins traveled to Daegu Lions Park for a three-game weekend series. After dropping the first two games to Samsung, the top-ranked team sent Im Chan-kyu to the mound in hopes of sweeping the series.
A sweep would not change the standings as they still had a game in hand on second-place SSG, but pride was on the line. Lim Chan-kyu pitched his best in the first inning.
In the bottom of the first inning, after giving up singles and walks to Koo Ja-uk and Kang Min-ho, Im Chan-kyu struck out Kim Tae-hoon to keep the game scoreless.
With a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning, Im gave up a tying solo shot to Lee Jae-hyun. The big crisis came in the third inning.
After giving up a straight bunt to leadoff hitter Kim Hyun-jun, Im gave up a single to Kim Sung-yoon. With no outs and runners on first and second, Koo Jae-ook hit a hard grounder to right field. The timing was good enough for the right fielder to catch it, but the direction it landed was between the sun and the shade. Hong Chang-ki, who was running forward, was unable to make the catch as the ball disappeared. Although it was a hit, Hong felt bad for the starter, Im Chan-kyu, for missing the catch.
The bases loaded crisis. In the second half of the game, against the Samsung batting lineup, which led the team in batting average, Im Chan-kyu began to focus more. Kang Min-ho, the No. 4 hitter, hit a well-hit ball to second baseman Shin Min-jae. A miss would have resulted in at least two runs. Im then threw his main weapon, a changeup, and struck out Kim Tae-hoon and Kang Kang-ul.
With the bases loaded and no outs, he pumped his fist in the air and roared. As if that wasn’t thrilling enough, he roared again as he headed to the dugout from the mound.
Commentator Lee Dae-hyung, who was watching the scene, said, “Chan-gyu’s ceremony almost won the Korean Series.” He praised Chan-gyu’s pitching for overcoming the bases-loaded crisis. Dae-hyung Lee then praised Im’s changeup. At the moment of crisis, he seems to have perfect control of both outside and inside pitches. In the second inning, he threw a changeup to Lee Jae-hyun, who hit a home run, but he praised Im’s guts for throwing the changeup without hesitation.
In the fifth inning, with the bases loaded, Captain Oh Ji-hwan, the fifth batter, hit a two-run double to tie the game again, giving Im Chan-kyu the winning pitch.
After promising commentator Lee Dae-hyung before the game that he would perform a special gesture if he pitched well, Im kept his word. After roaring twice in the first inning to prevent a bases-loaded walk, Im did a lot of shoulder dancing in the fifth inning.안전놀이터
With runners on first and third, Im threw a changeup to Kim Ho-jae and struck out the side for the final out, then did a shoulder dance as he headed to the dugout. The players in the dugout also smiled at the excited starting pitcher’s shoulder dance.
After five innings of five hits, one run, four walks, three strikeouts, and seven hits for 101 pitches, Lim Chan-kyu lifted the team’s spirits with another shoulder dance in front of Kim Hyun-soo.
With his eighth win of the season in addition to his streak-stopping role, Im is two wins away from reaching double-digit wins for the first time in three years after winning 10 in the 2020 season.