Yesterday it was Ko Young-pyo, today it’s Cuevas. KT shut out SSG, the league leader in team home runs, for the second straight day. This is the team’s first two-game shutout streak this season. It is also the second-longest streak in team history. The power of KT’s starting pitching staff is shaking up the KBO League in the second half of the season.
KT won 1-0 and 1-0 against SSG at home at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Feb. 2. KT starter William Cuevas pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just six hits. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter. His pitches were perfect until the seventh inning, when he threw 89 pitches for 65 strikes and 24 balls. He threw a mix of fastballs (27 pitches), cutters (28 pitches), and sliders (25 pitches) that topped out at 150 mph. “I wasn’t happy with my cutter and fastball early on, so I tried to work on my command,” Cuevas said after the game, “but as my pitches got better and better, I was able to pitch a long inning.”
It was a performance that seemed to nail Young-pyo Ko the day before. Ko pitched eight scoreless innings and Cuevas pitched seven scoreless innings, neither giving up a hit. With no free runs, their pitching efficiency naturally increased. Young-pyo Ko, who threw 97 pitches the day before, threw 12.1 pitches per inning, while Cuevas threw 12.7 pitches per inning. It’s also significant that both overcame tight pitching battles until the very end. The previous day, KT’s offense scored six runs in the eighth inning, but the game was 2-0 before that.
The two-game shutout is only the second since KT entered the KBO’s first division in 2015. It was the first time in 2306 days since April 8-9, 2017 against Samsung Electronics. On that occasion, five relievers – Lee Sang-hwa, Uhm Sang-baek, Shim Jae-min, Cho Moo-geun, and Kim Jae-yoon – pitched four scoreless innings behind starter Jung Dae-hyun’s five-inning no-hitter on the 8th, and foreign pitcher Ryan Peabody threw a complete game shutout on the 9th.
The win extended KT’s winning streak to five games. The team continued its upward trend in June and July. Since June, the team is 30-14 in 44 games with a winning percentage of 0.682. The team, which was at the bottom of the league on May 31, has jumped into the top three in just two months. The driving force behind this is the strength of the starting lineup. The one-two punch of Wes Benjamin and Young-pyo Ko is working well, as well as the defense and exclusivity. There hasn’t been a gap in the starting lineup since Cuevas was reacquired in June.
For the second day in a row, SSG was crushed by the power of KT’s starters. Kirk McCarty pitched seven innings of two-run ball the day before, and Kim Kwang-hyun pitched seven innings of one-run ball today, but the offense couldn’t do anything about it. 토토사이트