NC Dinos pitcher Koo Chang-mo made his first appearance in the Futures League and pitched a no-hitter, raising his hopes of qualifying for the Asian Games.
Koo Chang-mo started the game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Futures League at Iksan Stadium on Monday and pitched two scoreless innings of one-hit ball with two strikeouts. He threw 27 pitches, 19 of which were strikes, using a mix of fastballs up to 145 km/h, sliders and forkballs.
After getting Lee Siwon to fly out to shortstop in the top of the first, Koo got Lee Sang-ho to fly out to center field and induced a three-pitch swinging strikeout of Hwang Eui-joon to end the inning cleanly. In the bottom of the second, he grounded out to Kang Min-seong at third base, struck out Lee Jun-hee on three pitches, and gave up an infield single to Han Ji-yong, but got Ji Kang-hyuk to fly out to left field to end his outing.
“I’m glad I was able to finish the inning cleanly without worrying about my body. “My fastball was good, and I didn’t throw many changeups, but I was satisfied,” he reflected, adding, “I was nervous on the mound, but I was able to finish well with a good lead from the catcher, Credit Suk.”
On June 2, Koo started against Jamsil LG, but after striking out Hong Chang-ki in the top of the first inning after a five-pitch battle with the leadoff hitter, Koo raised his hand in the dugout to indicate that he was not feeling well. It was a pain in his left forearm.
He was immediately taken to the hospital for a checkup and was diagnosed with a left forearm flexor injury. At the time, the estimated rehabilitation time was three to five weeks. Despite the injury contingency, Koo was named to the final roster for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team, which was released a week later.
The Asian Games were fast approaching, and there were concerns that Gu would not be able to pitch at the Games, and there were calls for a replacement. The national team’s first training session was on the 23rd. With just four days to go until the call-up, Koo Chang-mo was given the green light to join the national team in dramatic fashion.토토사이트
Ahead of the team’s game against Doosan in Jamsil on the 19th, coach Kang Myung-hyun said of Koo, “I don’t think there are any abnormal symptoms after throwing. For now, there is no discomfort (in the injured area), so we’ll think about it after today, but for now, we’re thinking of calling him up tomorrow.”
Manager Kang Myung-ho said, “He can’t pitch as a starter right now, so I think he’ll have to wait in the bullpen. I pitched today, so it won’t be easy for me to pitch tomorrow, but I’m going to go out and check my physical condition. I also need to pitch a series, so I’m considering that as well.”
If he improves his pitch count after the Asian Games, he will be asked to start in the postseason. “If I go to the postseason, of course I’ll start,” Kang said. Since he hasn’t pitched yet, we’ll have to use him as a bullpen pitcher and switch him to a starter based on his pitch count,” Kang predicted.
“When I come back from the national team, I’ll look at my pitch count, and I think I can get into the starting lineup with 80 pitches, not necessarily 100 pitches. If you can fill 80 pitches, you should start then,” he added.
Meanwhile, NC will have to manage without catcher Kim Hyung-jun and shortstop Kim Joo-won as they are also on international duty. “First of all, I think both Kim Hyung-jun and Kim Joo-won will have to play,” Kang said.
“I think it’s important to know which players to replace them with, so we’re discussing that with the coaches. Right now, we need two players because we are fighting for position.”
“I think it’s important to play against teams that are fighting for the top of the standings. We have four games against Doosan, six against KIA, and five against SSG, and I think it will be a very important fight. However, we had some injured players last week, but thanks to the rain, they recovered a lot through the break. I’m hoping for better results this week.”