With runners on first and second in the top of the ninth inning, Ariel Furado (27) of the Kiwoom Heroes was trying to throw his first complete game in the KBO against the Doosan Bears.
With a 4-1 lead and only a home run away from tying the game, manager Hong Won-ki personally visited the mound, gathered the infielders, and encouraged Hurado to “don’t worry about the runners, just focus on the out count.”바카라사이트
Hurado hit an infield grounder to put runners on second and third with Jose Rojas at the plate.
Rojas’s ball hit Furado’s glove and went directly in front of shortstop Hwijip Kim, who had moved his defense between first and second base.
Kim fired to first base, allowing a run to score, and the Kiwoom bench pulled Furado after 116 pitches and brought in Im Chang-min to preserve the 4-2 victory.
Furado, who picked up his fifth win of the season with 8⅔ innings of seven-hit ball, one walk, two strikeouts and two runs (one earned) against Doosan at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on Thursday, didn’t seem to mind missing the complete game and returned to the dugout for an interview while humming.
“I’m feeling great right now because the team won,” he said, even if the translator didn’t explain it.
“Anything can happen in baseball,” he said, “and it’s in the past, so it’s okay. I pitched a long inning and I’m glad the team won,” he smiled.
Kim Hwijip made a mistake when Furado was on the mound.
Even at the “Ground Kids Run” event after the game, where he high-fived the kids circling the field, Kim looked somber as he blamed himself for the mistake.
However, Hurado said, “I encouraged him after the game, saying, ‘It’s not your fault, it can happen.’ He’s a very hardworking player, and he plays good defense every game. He made two great plays today, so I’m grateful for that.”
“I think he’s lucky to have pitched until the ninth inning,” he said, adding that he sincerely hoped that Kim would be able to take the pressure off.
Hurtado struck out just two batters, but he also pitched effectively to get the bases loaded and endured a long inning.
He said, “I wanted to play my style today and try to induce hits. I was fortunate that my pitches went right in front of them and I had an easy out.”
When asked if he and his battery partner, catcher Lee Ji-young, had a preliminary plan, he said, “We don’t have to talk much. Even if I don’t say anything, we pursue the same direction,” and boasted of their “good chemistry.
On the same day, Kiwoom organized a farewell ceremony for Eric Yokishi, who has been the “left-handed ace” of the Doosan team for the past five seasons.
Yokishi, who watched the game from the stands instead of the Kiwoom dugout, was able to enjoy a more lighthearted postgame ceremony thanks to the team’s 4-2 victory.
Furado, who spent nearly half a year with Yokishi, said, “He was a good friend and teammate, and I’m sad to see him go. I’m really happy that I pitched well today and contributed to the team’s victory (and gave Yokishi the win). I want to support Yokishi’s future.”
Furado, who had said he would continue to take the mound without a day off, including being excluded from the first team roster, changed his mind after his recent high pitch count.
“With Yokishi out, it was hard for me to take a break because of the team situation, but honestly, I want to take a break now. I only pitched 70 innings last year (actually 57⅓ innings), so I need a break to relieve fatigue. That way, I’ll be healthier in the second half of the season.”
With the win, Furado became the league’s longest relief pitcher with 93⅔ innings in 15 games this season.
Some Kiwoom fans have been so impressed with Hurado’s comeback that they want to travel to his native Panama.
“Panama is known for its canals and beautiful beaches,” Hurado said. The language and culture will be different, but I hope you’ll come and visit,” he says, “I’m honored that you like Panama.”