‘4-0, 1.48′ Sanchez is the Eagles’ ‘Victory Fairy’
No. 9 Hanwha won the first game of a three-game weekend series against No. 3 NC.
The Hanwha Eagles, led by manager Choi Won-ho, pounded out six hits, including a home run, in a 6-2 victory over the NC Dinos of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at NC Park in Changwon on Wednesday. Riding a three-game winning streak that began against the KIA Tigers on April 21, Hanwha cut its lead over eighth-place KIA, which lost 3-10 to the KT Wiz earlier in the day, to 2.5 games, keeping its hopes of escaping the bottom half of the standings alive (26-47).
Hanwha was led at the plate by Kim In-hwan, who hit a leadoff double with runners on first and third in the third inning, while Kwon Kwang-min, who started in left field in the No. 8 spot, went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, including a three-run homer (No. 2) in the sixth. On the mound, six pitchers combined to hold NC to two runs, with the starter doing his part with five scoreless innings. Ricardo Sanchez, who has led the team to a 7-1 record in the eight games he has pitched in a Hanwha uniform.
The 2023 KBO League game between Kiwoom and Hanwha at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on May 30. Hanwha starting pitcher Sanchez pitches in the first inning.
Yonhap News Agency
The foreign ace Hanwha has never had토토사이트
Hanwha has had many ace pitchers in its history, including Song Jin-woo (Daedeok University pitching coach), Jung Min-cheol (MBC Sports+ commentator), Koo Dae-sung, and Ryu Hyun-jin (Toronto Blue Jays). However, since the Binggrae era, the team has only won the Korean Series in one season (1999). In the KBO’s increasingly foreign-pitcher-heavy league, foreign pitching is essential to success, and unfortunately, Hanwha has rarely had a solid foreign ace.
After signing a number of foreign hitters in the 2000s, including Jay Davis, Jacob Cruz, and Doug Clark, Hanwha began to bring in foreign pitchers in earnest in the 2010s. Danny Batista, who joined Hanwha in 2011, spent three seasons in a Hanwha uniform with a fastball that topped 155 kilometers per hour. However, Batista failed to live up to the hype of a foreign ace, going just 7-7 with a 4.20 ERA in 2013 after Ryu Hyun-jin left for the major leagues.
Hanwha brought in Mitch Talbott, a proven foreign pitcher who had won 14 games with the Samsung Lions and helped them win the overall title. In 2015, Talbott appeared in 30 games in a Hanwha uniform, pitching 156.1 innings and posting a 10-11 record with a 4.72 ERA, leading the team in wins and innings pitched that year. However, after a season of ups and downs and injury concerns, the club decided not to re-sign Talbott.
To this day, the foreign pitcher who remains the most memorable to Hanwha fans is Esmil Rogers, who had arguably the most spectacular short-term impact of any replacement foreign pitcher in history. After joining Hanwha in 2015 as a replacement for Shane Yoo, Rogers went 6-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 10 games with four complete games, three shutouts, and six quality starts. In 2016, however, Rogers’ $1.9 million contract was cut short due to injury, as he made just six appearances.
In 2017, the team added Alexi Ogando, a former big league All-Star, and Carlos Bayanueva, an 11-year big league veteran. However, Ogando and Villanueva, who arrived in Korea past their prime, were unable to play full-time for Hanwha due to injuries, both major and minor, and combined for just 15 wins. In the end, the relationship between the two big leaguers and Hanwha ended up lasting just one year.
7 wins and 1 draw in 8 games, Hanwha’s ‘victory fairy’
Sanchez, a left-hander from Venezuela, has been in the minor leagues since 2014, when he was 17 years old, with the Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, and Seattle Mariners. Sanchez made his big league debut in a St. Louis Cardinals uniform in 2020, a shortened season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, his big league career consisted of 5.1 innings and four runs (6.75 ERA) in three games, meaning he was a mediocre pitcher with nothing to show for it.
Sanchez, who was still pitching in Triple-A for the Chicago White Sox this year and had a 5.40 ERA in three games, joined Hanwha for a total of $400,000 when Hanwha’s foreign pitcher, Butch Smith, had to leave early due to injury. A young pitcher born in 1997 with only three games of big league experience. It was a rushed signing to fill the void left by Smith’s early exit, but Hanwha had no other option after struggling to start the season without a foreign pitcher.
However, it didn’t take long for Sanchez to show that Hanwha wasn’t wrong. After acclimating to Korea with four scoreless innings in his KBO debut against Samsung on May 11 and five innings of one-run ball against the Lotte Giants on May 17, Sanchez earned his first win in a Hanwha uniform with five innings of eight-strikeout ball against KIA on May 23, followed by his first quality start against the Kiwoom Heroes on May 24. In May, Sanchez went 4-2 with a 0.90 ERA in 20 innings pitched in four games.
Sanchez continued his upward trend in June, proving that his May performance was no fluke. After pitching eight shutout innings against the LG Twins on the 10th with eight strikeouts and no walks, Sanchez tossed five shutout innings against the NC on the 23rd to secure his fourth win of the season. Sanchez surprised Hanwha fans, including manager Choi Won-ho, in the third inning when he was hit in the left arm by a hard-hit ball from Park Gun-woo, but he quickly shook it off and stayed on the mound until the fifth inning.
His 4-0 record and 1.48 ERA are impressive, but there’s one more reason Hanwha fans love Sanchez. In the eight games Sanchez has pitched this season, Hanwha has gone 7-1 in those games. When Sanchez is on the mound, the team’s confidence is high and the team plays well. Signed without much expectation