LG’s Chan-kyu Lim: “Last year’s failure was the nourishment for this year’s success”
Wearing the armband of the ‘native ace of the regular season championship team,’ Im Chan-kyu (30-LG Twins), who started the last game of the regular season, won 14 games, the most among native pitchers in the 2023 KBO League.
The right-hander pitched 5⅔ innings of one-run ball against the Doosan Bears in a home game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, on April 15.
With the team’s 5-2 victory, Lim finished the 2023 regular season with a 14-3 record and a 3.42 ERA.
“We could have sent him out yesterday (the 14th), but we decided to pitch today, the last game of the regular season, to honor our homegrown ace,” LG manager Yoon Kyung-yup said before the game.
After opening the regular season as a long reliever, Im switched to the starting rotation on April 16 and made his last appearance as a starter.
Lim Chan-kyu responded to his last start by getting the win. All 14 of his wins this season have been ‘starts’.
As of the 15th, he is third on the all-time wins list. No other pitcher has more wins than Lim among the homegrown starters. Only Ko Young-pyo (KT WIZ) and Kwak Bin (Doosan), who have already completed their regular season appearances, have more wins with 12.
With 144⅔ innings pitched, Im also surpassed the number of innings pitched in regulation for the first time in three years since 2020 (147⅔).
After becoming a free agent after the 2022 season, Lim opted out of his option and looked to rebound in 2023.
Last year, he went 6-11 with a 5.04 ERA.
“I tried not to focus on things that I couldn’t control, like wins and innings,” he said of his tumultuous season, “I just tried to prepare a lot to throw each ball the way I wanted to, and I wasn’t able to help the team last year. I feel like what I did for the team came through a little bit this year, so it feels good,” he said, reflecting on the long pennant race.
After failing to break into the starting lineup in spring training this year, Lim was given the opportunity to start due to the lack of success of the native starters, and he consistently performed well, making 26 starts this year.
“Throwing long relief four times in the beginning of the season helped me a lot. I learned how to relax my body while throwing long relief,” he said. “Last year’s failures were the nourishment for my success this season.”
“I wanted to pitch a full inning today, but I was trying to stop myself from putting more effort into my body because of that greed. I went to the mound thinking, ‘If I don’t pitch a full inning, it’s not the end of my life,'” he said. “Looking back, I analyzed that a lot of the time was a process of ‘getting out of my body.
Although his body was drained, his mind was filled with motivation.
“In May, manager Yoon Kyung-yup told me, ‘Even if you throw a 135-kilometer per hour ball, I’ll trust you to throw 90 to 100 pitches. That’s how many pitches you’re responsible for, and you’re responsible for at least five innings.” “That was the first time I heard that in baseball,” he said. It definitely motivated me.”
Yoon named Casey Kelly, Chan-kyu Im, and Won-tae Choi as the 1-3 starters for the Korean Series.
Im Chan-kyu said he would “take it easy” again.
“It’s my first time playing in the Korean Series. To be honest, I think my body will be nervous,” but he also said, “I will keep my mind calm. Rather than thinking about accomplishing something, I will focus on throwing each ball where I want it to go.” 스포츠토토