Ahn Woo-jin pitches 5 innings of 1-run ball against Hanwha…but falls short of his fourth win of the season

Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes) bounced back in his final start of May, but fell short of the win column once again.

On May 30, Ahn made a start against the Hanwha Eagles of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon, South Korea, and gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts in five innings. He was unable to go the distance due to a high pitch count of 107.

He was pulled with the team trailing 1-2, so Ahn’s fourth win of the season will have to wait until another time.

After leading the league in ERA (2.11), strikeouts (224), and wins (15) last year, Ahn has struggled this year. Prior to this game, she was ranked second in the league in ERA, but has struggled to find wins with a 3-3 record.

In particular, in his last five games since April 30 against the Lotte Giants, Ahn has earned just one win despite allowing 12 runs (10 earned) in 30⅓ innings and striking out 35 batters. The Kiwoom offense supported him with 10 runs during that stretch, averaging just two runs per outing.

This trend continued in Ahn’s final start of May.

After struggling in the first inning, throwing 25 pitches, Ahn gave up two runs.

After giving up a single to 안전놀이터 Choi Jae-hoon in the first inning, Ahn gave up a double to Jang Jin-hyuk. In the process, right fielder Lee Hyung-jong made a throwing error that allowed Choi, who was on third base, to reach home. With no fielding help, Ahn struck out Kim Gun, but gave up an RBI single to Lee Do-yoon to extend the lead to two runs.

He gave up singles to Lee Do-yoon and Jung Eun-won to put runners on first and third and struck out Chae Eun-sung to give himself a breather, but gave up a walk to Kim In-hwan to load the bases.

She induced a seven-pitch battle against the long-hitting Noh Si-hwan into a grounder to shortstop to end the fifth inning, but Ahn’s pitch count reached a whopping 107.

The Kiwoom bats didn’t help Ahn on this day either. The bats started to explode in the ninth inning against Lotte in Gocheok on Sunday, but they were held in check by Hanwha’s substitute foreign pitcher Ricardo Sanchez, who was facing them for the first time.

In the sixth, Lee Hyung-jong singled and Kim Jun-wan walked to put runners on first and third with no outs, but after Lee Jung-hoo and Edison Russell singled to put runners on first and second, Kim Hye-sung was thrown out at third base on a straight line drive.

Ahn Woo-jin was replaced by Kim Dong-hyuk with the score at 1-2 and was not able to fulfill the winning pitcher’s requirement. Ahn’s season ERA dropped slightly from 1.88 to 1.87.

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