The Hanwha Eagles lost 0-11 against the NC Dinos and Changwon on April 26. They were shut out by opposing starting pitcher Eric Pedi (30).

Pedi has been the best foreign pitcher this season. He pitched in the major leagues until last season, and was especially strong against Hanwha. On April 30, he pitched seven innings of one-hit ball against Hanwha, and on May 26, he threw a six-inning, five-hit shutout. He has a 0.00 ERA in those two games.

Struck out 20 batters in 13 innings pitched. Has a 1-for-3 record with six strikeouts. That’s enough to strike fear into the Hanwha bats.

In recent years, Hanwha hasn’t had much luck with foreign pitchers. They were envious of other teams’ foreign pitchers. This year was no different. Butch Smith, who was expected to start, left the team after 2⅔ innings in the opener. I couldn’t help but think back to last year’s nightmare of having to replace two foreign pitchers early in the season.

This year, it’s a different story. Felix Peña (33), who is in his second year in the KBO, pitches well. He’s a completely different pitcher than he was in April. Based on his May performance alone, I don’t envy him.

In his start against NC on the 27th, Peña pitched a five-hit shutout until the sixth inning. He walked no one and struck out four. He had a run in scoring position, but he got out of it. With his steady pitching, he acted as a ‘gatekeeper’ for the 5-0 victory.

His recent form has been very good. From May 4 against the Doosan Bears to May 27 against the NC, he finished all five games with a quality start (6+ innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less). On May 10, he pitched seven innings of one-hit ball against the Samsung Lions. He had a no-hitter through six innings before giving up a run-scoring single to Kang Min-ho in the seventh. It was the only run he allowed.

In five games in May, he went 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA, averaging 96.6 pitches per game and 15.6 pitches per inning. In 31 innings, he struck out 29 batters and posted a 1.19 WHIP (walks allowed per inning). All the metrics say Peña is an ace. I don’t envy Pedi, who went 4-0 with a 3.09 ERA in that span.스포츠토토

Peña’s struggles in April were severe. In five starts, he failed to go six innings once. Twice he was pulled after just four innings. In that span, he went 1-3 with a 5.48 ERA.

He had a good start to the game, but suddenly collapsed in the fourth and fifth innings. He would lose his focus and collapse whenever there was an unexpected turn of events, such as a fielding error. With Smith out and Peña struggling, things took a turn for the worst for Hanwha.

In May, the starting lineup stabilized as Peña settled in.

It remains to be seen if Peña can quench Hanwha’s thirst for a foreign ace, but there is hope.

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