8-8 with a 3.72 ERA, out for the season… Rookie of the Year relief, Kia 8 wins for the rookie.
Hanwha Eagles fastball pitcher Moon Dong-ju came up short in his final appearance of the season. He was removed from the game with two outs to win as his pitch count increased.
Moon Dong-ju started the game against LG in the 2023 KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday and gave up three runs on 11 hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
He was removed from the game with runners on first and second in the fifth inning with the score 5-3. He had thrown 105 pitches, and after giving up a home run, back-to-back singles forced the Hanwha bench to pull him with two outs to win.
The pitch count was high early on. He threw 82 pitches in the first three innings, including 33 in the first, 17 in the second, and 32 in the third. He was unable to get over the hump in the fifth inning.
In the first inning, with runners on first and second, he gave up a full-count single to right to Moon Bo-kyung. In the second inning, back-to-back singles put runners on first and second, and she gave up a single to Kim Hyun-soo that slipped past the first baseman’s mitt and into the outfield.
With runners on first and second in the third, he struck out Hae-min Park on a full count with a 155-kilometer fastball. In the fourth, he got out of a jam with two runners in scoring position. However, in the top of the fifth inning, after giving up a solo home run to Oh Ji-hwan, back-to-back singles put runners on first and second.
Moon, who set a KBO-certified fastball record of 160.1 mph in April, finished the season with an 8-8 record, 3.72 ERA, and 95 strikeouts in 23 appearances. Hanwha imposed an innings limit (130 innings) to protect Moon’s shoulder and elbow. The regular season was 120 innings.
Moon threw 4⅓ innings in his final appearance, bringing his total to 118⅔ innings. Moon will be removed from the first team roster and will take time off to recuperate until he is called up for the Asian Games in late September. If he pitches 10 innings in the Asian Games, he’ll reach 130 innings.
A season to remember. “It was my last time, so I wanted to show a lot of good things…but I think I was very disappointed,” Moon said, “I threw every inning as if it was my last.”
The season ended early due to the 120-inning limit. “Even if I had a career-high season, I would still be disappointed,” Moon said, “I would like to help the team win, but the club made the decision in consideration of me, so I should be grateful.”
Moon said he didn’t set any record goals this season. “I gave myself a score of 100 because I didn’t get injured and didn’t fall out of the starting rotation,” he said.
With more than 30 games left in the regular season, Moon Dong-joo’s chances of winning the Rookie of the Year award are slim, but KIA rookie Yoon Young-cheol is a strong contender. Yoon Young-chul picked up his eighth win with a five-inning, three-run victory over SSG in Incheon on April 2.
In 20 games in his rookie year, he is 8-5 with a 4.13 ERA and 59 strikeouts. He has 98 innings pitched and is on pace for 100. Yoon needs two more wins to reach 10 wins in his rookie year. If he stays in the rotation until the end of the season, he could make five or six starts. 10 wins seems likely. The symbolic significance of 10 wins is huge. 먹튀검증
Moon has a WAR (wins above replacement) of 2.25 according to Sports2eye. Yoon has a WAR of 1.26. If Yoon reaches 10 wins, the Rookie of the Year race will be hard to predict.