Rockies’ Kim Sun-woo shuts out GiantsColorado Rockies pitcher Kim Sun-woo loves to go fishing. In his free time he heads out to sea off the Florida coast where he keeps a second home. Drawing on his rod, he dreams of the future and kills time. “If it weren’t for fishing, I couldn’t have lived in the United States this long,” he says.
Meanwhile back at his day job, Kim marked his first shutout victory last Sunday Korean time, beating the San Francisco Giants 6-0. It came five years since joining the Major League, having already played 109 games, including 36 as starting pitcher. For the nine innings, Kim struck out three and allowed only three hits and one walk.
Shutout games don’t come easy. Even Park Chan-ho of the San Diego Padres, who has 106 wins in his career, only had two shutouts when he was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seo Jae-weong of the New York Mets and Kim's colleague Kim Byung-hyun have none. Moreover, the opposing team's hitters included Barry Bonds, one of the best sluggers in the Major League. And the game was played on Coors Field in Denver, which has never been a comfortable place for pitchers, making the shutout even more meaningful.
There were perils in the third inning with one out and a runner on the third base, and in the eighth inning with runners on first and second bases, but he escaped the threats with strikeouts and mistakes by hitters. Kim had a good command of the ball for all 101 pitches in the game. Each time, the ball stayed out of the center, and was low. For left-sided hitters, he threw changeups and for right-sided hitters, he threw sliders. Even Bonds had no joy from three at bats (shortstop fly, center field fly and ground ball toward second base).
“To deal with Bonds, I should not send runners to base before Bonds,” Kim said after the game. “If there are no runners on base, at the worst Bonds would hit a single run. Without runners on base I could pitch at ease.”
Meanwhile, at bat Kim hit a ground ball, helping the team to produce a run. So far this season, Kim has had six wins, five of which were consecutive, and two losses.
When the Giants’ last hitter JT Snow hit a left field fly, ending the game, Kim raised his right fist in the sky. His teammates ran to him and gave him high-fives. The Rockies manager Clint Hurdle hugged Kim in the dugout. The previous shutout victory at Coors Field by the Rockies was back on October 1, 2001 by John Thomson.
It looks like Kim has really earned his next fishing vacation.
by Lee Tae-il, Limb Jae-un
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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