“I’m thinking about a lot of things about curveballs, but I’m not going to tell you because I’m a person with a lot of secrets.” (2021 Spring Camp)
“I will work hard to be able to throw breaking balls with more confidence. In addition, I plan to prepare to be able to throw one more secret weapon.” (After the 2021 season) 메이저놀이터
LG Lee Jeong-yong has revealed that he is preparing a ‘secret weapon’ whenever the opportunity arises over the past three years, and that he will pitch using a new pitch type. However, this secret weapon was rarely shown in actual combat. The pattern of facing batters with fastballs and sliders continued. At the 2022 camp, he said, “We are preparing something, but we are not at the stage of revealing it yet,” and in fact, Lee Jeong-yong said that the mention of this secret weapon itself was a kind of strategy. In fact, he laughed, saying that even if he didn’t throw it, someone would still be conscious of it.
As time passed, Lee Jeong-yong now had a real secret weapon. As he became familiar with the forkball and curveball, which he had intensively prepared using the All-Star break, he was able to freely use four types of pitches. In particular, the proportion of forkballs has risen to a level similar to that of fastballs. Now Lee Jeong-yong’s ‘second pitch’ is a forkball, not a slider.
It is a pitch that can result in a strikeout through a missed swing, making it easier to escape a crisis. In the game against Hanwha in Jamsil on the 1st, Lee Jeong-yong avoided a crisis with a forkball, allowing 5 hits, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts, and no runs in 6 innings. The decisive ball that struck out Jang Jin-hyuk on a missed swing in the 4th inning with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd bases, and the decisive ball that struck out Kim Tae-yeon in the 6th inning with 1 out and 1st and 2nd bases were forkballs.
Lee Jeong-yong has 3 wins, no losses, and an average ERA of 0.78 in 23 innings, allowing 2 runs in 23 innings in the last 4 games, including today’s game. The only pitcher who has pitched more than 20 innings since August and has a lower ERA than Lee Jeong-yong is KT William Cuevas (0.50). If KT raised its ranking to second place due to the Cuevas effect, LG can be seen as taking the lead in first place due to the Lee Jeong-yong effect.
After the game on the 1st, I was able to hear more from Lee Jeong-yong about the background of learning a new pitch. Lee Jeong-yong said, “I was recommended the curveball by coach Kim Kwang-sam, and I learned the trick while playing catch with (Lim) Chan-gyu during the All-Star break. I asked senior (Kim) Jin-seong about the forkball, but it’s hard to say that I learned it in such detail.” “I threw the forkball even when I was an amateur, so I think I’m trying it a little more comfortably. I don’t think it was this good, but I guess it’s because I have a strong desire to do well (it’s going well),” he said.
When asked if the ‘secret weapon’ he had been talking about for two years was a forkball, he shyly replied, “That’s true. Lee Jeong’s ‘dragon claw’… Oh, this shouldn’t be released…”
He also said, “I don’t think that the introduction of the forkball has made it easier to run the game. I just tried to throw as aggressively as possible, and I think the fastball is the first pitcher, so I pay more attention to the fastball than the forkball. Of course, the introduction of a pitch that can strike out makes it easier. “There are aspects, but I think (Park) Dong-won’s effect is greater. We work well together and we talk a lot, so I think I’ll get better and better,” he said.
- 3 consecutive wins in the last 4 games and 3 quality starts. It looks like he has fully established himself as a starter.
“I didn’t know they were having such a good record. Don’t they always win the day I go out (Lee Jeong-yong’s starting team 7 wins, 1 loss)? I wanted to give that energy today as well.”
- The break was extended as the mound was canceled due to rain. It may have been difficult to manage your condition.
“During that period of preparation, I could have felt worried about difficulties, but I tried to think more positively rather than worry. I did live pitching once and continued to exercise for the rest of the time. I threw the ball consistently and had a difficult time during the preparation process. There was no mole.”
- It was his first appearance on the mound in 16 days, so he may have lost his senses, but how was it when he threw it?
“It’s not that he didn’t think about it, but that’s why he thought the first inning was important. It went better than I thought.”
“He didn’t throw for a long time, so he didn’t seem to have any difficulty controlling his pitch.”
- With Adam Plutko out for a long time, the remaining starters may feel like they need to do better.
“Honestly, I have that feeling. I just want to give people some really good energy on the day I throw.”
“As I advance, I want to spread the idea that ‘If Jeongyong throws, he will win.’ So even if I can’t throw, I will try to do my best.”
- In the 6th inning, 4-0, there was a crisis with 1st and 2nd bases out. There, I met Chae Eun-seong.
“Actually, Eun-seong sent me a message before the game. I replied saying that we should have a great game, and we also had a quote time for the first time in a while (Lee Jeong-yong and Chae Eun-seong used to prepare quotes to help each other strengthen their mindsets when they were teammates at LG). When Eun-seong hit his brother, he said, “It was fun to play against him. But I put so much effort into my brother in front that I walked the next batter. In the 6th inning, when I was in trouble, I threw to hit, and a big hit came out. I don’t think I won.”
- There was a difficult time in the beginning, but recently it has become a completely different trend.
“It just so happened to be like that. I hope this good energy continues until the end. Now is the time when I really have to go to the military, so I really want to have a happy ending.”
-Do you want to go there wearing a championship ring?
“If that happens, there will be nothing better.”
- The average ERA fell to 4.02. Do you have a goal of hitting the 3-point range?
“It was at 6 points (6.27 on July 27th)… I’m trying not to worry about it. If I worry about it, it will go up again, right? So I just think about it to myself and just try to convey good vibes.”