79% first-pitch strikeout rate! 7G with only 2 walks since August – the secret behind the ‘blade’ pitch

The Lotte batters were quick to settle down, and I was confidently throwing strikes from the first pitch.”

Fierce starting competition proved to be the medicine. NC Dinos’ Shin Min-hyuk may not have won his sixth game of the season, but he raised his stock with an impressive outing.

Shin threw six scoreless innings in the final game of the season against the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 12.

It was his second start of the season and first in 153 days since April 11 against the Changwon KT Wiz.

Unfortunately, he fell short of his sixth win of the season. With a 3-0 lead in the sixth inning, he handed the mound over to Ryu Jin-wook, but Ryu faltered and left the bases loaded. In the end, the third pitcher, Kim Young-gyu, gave up a two-run single to end the game.

“I just wanted my team to win,” said Shin Min-hyuk after the game, “because I’ve saved more games for them than I have for myself. Kim Young-kyu leads the team with 19 holds, while Ryu Jin-wook is second with 16. NC’s rebound to third place can be attributed to their backs.

“I feel like I pitched well for the first time in a long time, and it worked especially well because I was more aggressive with my first-pitch strikes than usual,” Shin Min-hyuk explained.

“Lotte’s hitters often start with the fastball, and they have a lot of hitters who are confident in their changeup, so they were looking for a lot of changeups, so it was good to go outside or drop it quickly to get a quick win. It gave me a lot of confidence.”

Above all, he threw a 78.9 percent (15-of-19) first-pitch strike rate, which led to an economical pitch count of 16 pitches in the second inning, 29 pitches in the third inning, and 78 pitches in the sixth inning.

“When I think about it, when I was in good shape, I always had fastballs and a high first-pitch strike rate, so I threw well while remembering my good form,” Shin smiled, “but I thought I’d keep it to 20 pitches per inning.

He was disappointed to come down with so few pitches. “(Ryu) Jin-wook said he was sorry, so I said it was okay,” Shin added.

In the second half of the season, he started to get on base. In seven games and 32⅓ innings pitched since August, he had two walks, one in each of the first two games. “I think the first strike is so important, and I threw confidently with the feeling that I could get hit,” Shin said.

As for his chemistry with the catchers, he said, “(Park) Se-hyuk has his own style, (Ahn) Jung-yeol is aggressive, and (Kim) Hyung-joon tends to adjust to me. I also like (Park) Dae-on,” he smiled.

What’s the secret to his improved pitching? This season, fierce competition for the starting job with Lee Yong-joon and Song Myung-ki became the medicine. “I didn’t want to lose my starting spot, so I worked harder,” Shin said, pumping his fist. But there was a ‘real secret’.스포츠토토

“My foot point was originally open when I threw the ball. But I was off-balance and lost a lot of balls. My coach told me to put a rosin on the ground, and I’ve been doing that lately, and my toe point has improved a lot. It’s partly about body balance, but psychologically, I feel like my ball is going to go to one because my legs aren’t spread apart.”

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