William Cuevas, 33, the ace who led the KT Wiz to the 2021 season title, is back, but he gave up the game-winning run just short of the win requirement.
Cuevas started against the Samsung Lions in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Sunday.
Cuevas was making his KBO 메이저놀이터 debut eight days after being acquired on April 9 to replace Bo Schuler. It has been 435 days since his last appearance against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles on April 8 last year. Before the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said of Cuevas’ pitching plan, “They said he can throw 70 pitches. We have to go there first. If he throws well, he can go further. The feeling of the game is not bad.”
Cuevas faced a Samsung lineup of Kim Ji-chan (second base), Kim Hyun-joon (center field), Jose Pirela (left field), Kang Min-ho (catcher), Lee Jae-hyun (shortstop), Kim Jae-sung (first base), Kim Dong-yup (designated hitter), Ryu Seung-min (right field), and Kim Young-woong (third base).
In the top of the first inning, we got off to a good start. Kim Ji-chan grounded out to first base, Kim Hyun-joon struck out swinging, and Pirela grounded out to shortstop for a triple play.
Two batters later, Kim Jae-sung singled to right. A wild pitch followed, putting runners on second and third, but he got the next batter, Kim Dong-yeop, to fly out to left field to end the inning. The top of the third inning was similar. Two batters later, Kim gave up a single to Kim Ji-chan. The bases were loaded, but the next batter, Kim Hyun-jun, grounded out to first base for the third out.
The calm continued. In the top of the fourth inning, the opponent’s center field trio of Pirela (fly ball to right), Kang Min-ho (swinging strikeout), and Lee Jae-hyun (grounder to shortstop) were retired in order.
Cuevas was efficient, throwing 53 pitches in four innings, 토토사이트추천and took the mound in the top of the fifth with his team up 1-0. If he could get out of the inning unscathed, he could fulfill the win requirement. But it was a shaky start.
Cuevas gave up a leadoff double to Kim Jae-sung down the left-field foul line. He got the next two batters, Kim Dong-yeop and Ryu Seung-min, to fly out to shortstop and ground out to first base, respectively, but gave up a single to Kim Young-woong to tie the game at 1-1.
Cuevas reached 69 pitches before being hit by Kim Young-woong. Pitching coach Kim Tae-han took the mound, but couldn’t settle down. After allowing a stolen base, he walked Kim Ji-chan and gave up a single to Kim Hyun-joon with runners on first and second to make it 1-2.
After removing Cuevas, KT sent reliever Son Dong-hyun to the mound. Son hit a two-run double off Pirela, scoring Cuevas and adding one more run. His final line was 4⅔ innings, 80 pitches, five hits, one walk, three strikeouts, and three runs. His four-seam fastball (33 pitches) topped out at 150 miles per hour, and he utilized a mix of pitches including a cutter (20 pitches), slider (14 pitches), changeup (8 pitches), and two-seam fastball (5 pitches).