After twists and turns, the debut was a success. Mario Sanchez (29-KIA) made a successful soft landing.
The right-hander started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game against KT at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Sept. 9. He pitched 6⅓ innings of five-hit ball (one home run) with 10 strikeouts and one run allowed in a quality start (six or more innings pitched and no more than three earned runs). He led his team to a 5-1 victory, earning his first win in his debut. Kia extended its winning streak to five games with the series sweep.
Sanchez joined the Kia organization as a replacement for Adonis Medina. He arrived on May 5, underwent a medical and finalized his contract on June 6. He will earn $280,000 per year. The Kia organization was impressed with Sanchez’s reliability, game management, and variety of pitches.스포츠토토
His first start was a success. Sanchez threw 88 pitches on the day (62 for strikes). He used a mix of four-seam fastballs (43), sliders (20), cutters (12), curves (6), changeups (5), and two-seam fastballs (2). His four-seam topped out at 147 mph and his two-seam at 146 mph.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing. He was called out twice. Before he pitched in the bottom of the fourth inning, the umpires spoke with Sanchez, KIA manager Kim Jong-guk, and pitching coach Seo Jae-eung for a while.
The Kia team explained that Sanchez should raise his left leg consistently when pitching, but depending on the situation, he could be seen raising his leg once more. Coach Seo mentioned the case of Sean Nolin last year, but he said, ‘According to the rules, you can’t double-kick. If you do it again, we’ll call it a ball,'” he said.
Sanchez gave up a double to Hwang Jae-gyun with two outs in the fourth inning. He followed that up with a six-pitch walk to Park Byung-ho.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol came out to the field during Hwang’s at-bat. He appealed for Sanchez to get into set position after he twisted toward first base as if he was going to throw a strike. Sanchez then threw a wild pitch to first base, tying up the runner, Kim Sang-soo. A scoreless sixth inning followed.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Sanchez came off the mound with the bases loaded, and the KIA fans stood and chanted his name. Sanchez took off his hat and responded. It was a happy ending.