“The problem is that I’m trying too hard.”
LG Twins Lim Chan-gyu is having his best season this year. He is having a career-high season, with 10 wins, 3 losses, and 1 hold in 114⅔ innings in 25 games, with an ERA of 3.69. In addition, he has been guarding the LG mound, posting double-digit multipliers for the first time in four years since 2020 (10 wins, 9 losses, ERA 4.08). With just two more wins in the remainder of his season, he could also surpass the personal record for most wins he achieved in 2018 (11 wins, 11 losses, 1 save, ERA 5.77).
However, the pace has slowed down a bit recently. Since being sent off for a headshot in the first inning against the Changwon NC Dinos on the 27th of last month, he has not been able to perform much. On the 3rd of this month against the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles, he allowed 5 runs (2 earned), 3 hits, and 3 walks in 5 innings. He wore the yoke of a losing pitcher. In the game against the KIA Tigers on the 9th, he came off the mound without completing the 6th inning with 6 hits, 1 home run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout, and 4 runs (3 earned runs) in 5⅔ innings.
Lim Chan-gyu is not the type of pitcher who overpowers his opponents with an overwhelming pitch. He has continued to perform well with pitching based on his control. Recently, there were many cases where he was forced into unfavorable ball counts due to his shaky pitch control, and in the end, he was unable to play longer innings due to being attacked by the opposing batter or the number of pitches increased.
Coach Yeom Kyeong-yeop said of Lim Chan-gyu in a meeting with reporters while the game against Changwon NC was canceled due to rain on the 14th, “At the beginning of the season, he pitched aggressively. But recently, as he tried to do well, he couldn’t control his pitching. At one point, he went 6 to 7 innings. “Right now, I can only take responsibility for about 5 innings. People’s psychology is such that if you try to do too well, things won’t go well,” he said.
At the same time, “Lim Chan-gyu is a pitcher who catches accordingly. You have to take away the timing. As he tries not to hit, the number of balls only increases. He is not a pitcher who strikes out on pitches. The player will not feel it. After the number of balls increases, he hits on the first pitch rather than getting hit.” “It is better to allow hits. These things worked well at the beginning of the season, but now that is not the case,” Lim Chan-gyu said, requesting pitching aggressively.
Lim Chan-gyu posted 5 quality starts (6 innings as a starter, pitching 3 earned runs or less), all in the first half of the year. His performance also differs between the first half and the second half. Lim Chan-gyu’s first half performance is 17 games, 79 innings, 6 wins, 2 losses, 1 hold, and an average ERA of 3.19. On the other hand, in the second half of the season, he faltered somewhat, with 4 wins, 1 loss, and an ERA of 4.79 in 8 games and 35⅔ innings.
Still, thanks to Lim Chan-gyu, LG is relieved of its worries about domestic selection this season. While other active players such as Kim Yun-sik and Lee Min-ho performed poorly last year, Lim Chan-gyu shone on the mound. Lim Chan-gyu was tied for 6th place in the most wins category, and was so active that he was ranked 2nd when narrowing it down to domestic starting pitchers. If Lim Chan-gyu shows his early season performance again, LG can get closer to winning.