Kiwoom Heroes Ace Woo-jin Ahn overcame a crisis caused by a defensive misplay in the 5th game of the season and made a good pitch.
Ahn Woo-jin 먹튀검증started the home game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 25th and recorded 7 innings, 1 hit, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and no runs.
Ahn Woo-jin showed off his strength by pitching a no-hitter until he was hit by Anthony Alford in the 7th inning. He lowered his ERA from 1.08 to 0.84, and continued his streak of quality starts (3 earned runs in 6 or more starting innings) throughout the season. Also, with 46 strikeouts, he firmly maintained his top spot in this category.
Last year, Ahn Woo-jin took first place in ERA (2.11) and strikeouts (224), tied for second in most wins (15 wins), and won the Golden Glove pitcher category, becoming the league ace.
His iron wall pitching has been upgraded this season, and he recorded an average ERA of 1.08 and 39 strikeouts before the match against KT that day. Although he had only 1 win (1 loss) due to lack of success, his on-base percentage per inning (WHIP) was 0.80, almost completely blocking opponent batters.
In the meantime, this KT match could be a hurdle for Ahn Woo-jin. Ahn Woo-jin had the highest ERA of 5.11 by opposing team, including an 8-run game against KT last year.
However, this was just a whim. Ahn Woo-jin also made an overwhelming pitch against KT, which was difficult on the day. KT also made the number of wins by placing Moon Sang-cheol, An Woo-jin’s natural enemy, in the 6th batting order, but An Woo-jin tied KT’s batting line tightly. He struck out seven while allowing only one hit.
Kiwoom’s beast mistakes came out in the beginning of the 4th and 5th innings, but An Woo-jin did not shake much. Woo-jin Ahn threw Alford out in the top of the 4th inning due to a throwing error by shortstop Edison Russell, then threw a wild throw and was driven into scoring position for the first time. However, he immediately struck out Byeong-ho Park and Seong-woo Jang with a shortstop ground ball to end the inning.
Even in the top of the 5th inning, lead hitter Moon Sang-cheol went on base due to third baseman Kim Hui-jip’s throwing error, but Oh Yun-seok caught a foul fly and Lee Sang-ho caught a double stroke to continue the scoreless streak.
At the end of the 5th inning, Kiwoom scored 1 point with Lee Yong-gyu’s timely hit and lightened Ace’s shoulders, and the biggest crisis came to An Woo-jin at the beginning of the 7th inning.
Ahn Woo-jin, who was throwing a no-hit pitch, got his first and last hit from lead batter Alford in the top of the 7th inning and even allowed second base to be stolen. An Woo-jin, who then guided Park Byeong-ho to a pitcher ground ball, threw the ball to third base after the catch, but Alford touched third base faster than third baseman Kim Hui-jib’s tag. By choosing a pitcher and a fielder, he became 1st and 3rd base safely.
However, Ahn Woo-jin showed his strength and kept the lead by 1 point. After dealing Jang Seong-woo with a catcher foul fly, he caught Moon Sang-cheol’s bunt and quickly tossed it to catcher Lee Ji-young and caught Alford at home. Afterwards, he set up pinch hitter Kim Joon-tae with a strikeout on a swing and roared.
Ahn Woo-jin, who threw a total of 95 balls, was replaced with second pitcher Kim Dong-hyuk at the start of the 8th inning.