“I wish I could be consistent.”
KIA Tigers substitute foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez has appeared in five games this season, going 2-1 with a 6.49 ERA in 26 1/3 innings, 19 runs (19 earned), seven walks, and 33 strikeouts.
Sanchez had a successful debut on July 9 against the Suwon KT Wiz, allowing one run (one earned) in 6⅓ innings. What caught the attention of baseball fans at the time was Sanchez’s double steal and unique pitch preparation. At the start of his pitching motion with a runner on first base, Sanchez would make a motion as if he was going to throw to first base, then balance and throw.
The double-play issue was immediately resolved. Sanchez said he would not double-team. However, the issue of Sanchez’s fake blocking motion remains unresolved.
Manager Shim Jae-hak met with reporters before the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game against the LG Twins at KIA Champions Field in Gwangju on Aug. 8. Sanchez’s pitching motion was a problem.
“Sanchez thinks he’s made corrections, but he says he can’t focus on the game because it comes up during the game,” said Shim. “It came up three times in five games. Pitchers need to focus on their pitches, but if they focus on their pitching motion, it can lead to an unbalanced situation.”
A KIA official said, “In the KT game, the umpires said they would give a walk for double-kicking. However, we judged that there was no problem with the blocking motion.”
He continued, “On July 11 against the Gwangju Samsung Lions, the umpires said before the game, ‘If you block first base with your shoulders closed, it’s a balk. However, they said that there is no problem with faking a first base block with your shoulders open.”안전놀이터
On August 1, before the game against Samsung in Pohang, something new was added. A KIA official said, “If you make a fake catch and then immediately catch, it’s a balk. There is no problem with blocking after the fake blocking motion and taking a stance, but we warned them that if they throw abnormally, we will declare a balk.”
The problem was that on June 6 against the Gwangju Hanwha Eagles, Sanchez faked a block and then immediately threw a block. However, a balk was not called. Sanchez was confused by the fact that the balk should have been called.
“I wish it was uniform,” said Shim. “I wish it was uniform, that they would say, ‘This is the situation,’ and we would have to prepare accordingly. Every umpire group says something different, so it’s confusing for us and stressful for the players.”