It was a nightmare for the Hanwha Eagles. Returning to Korea after a three-year absence, Raul Alcantara (31-Dusan Bears) was once again the consummate eagle hunter.
Alcantara started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game between the Hanwha Eagles and the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Aug. 8 and pitched eight innings of two-hit, 10-strikeout ball with no walks.
Doosan held on to a 2-1 lead and swept the series to win its third straight. They remain in fifth place with 27 wins, 24 losses and one tie. Hanwha, on the other hand, dropped its third straight series and remained in last place with 19 wins, 32 losses and three ties.
Alcantara catches eagle, Hanwha at Doosan 6G-ERA 0.41
Alcantara, who won 20 games in 2020, was still at his strongest against Hanwha. He went 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three games. He’s continued that form this season. With the win, he’s now 5-0 with a 0.41 ERA in six games against Hanwha. Narrowing it down to this season, he has three wins and a 0.39 ERA in three games.
It was a flawless performance. His fastball topped out at 154 mph on the day. Nearly half of his 50 pitches were fastballs, and his mix of splits (33), sliders (19), and curves (5) had Hanwha bats dancing in the air.
He walked just two batters and was never in any real trouble. He struck out a whopping 10 batters, with a variety of pitches. Four each on fastballs and forkballs, and two on sliders. 스포츠토토
After throwing 96 pitches, Alcantara returned to the mound in the eighth inning. His velocity hadn’t dropped at all. He finished the inning with just 11 pitches, including two strikes. He headed to the dugout with a smile on his face as the crowd erupted in applause. Alcantara improved to 7-3 on the season. His ERA dropped further, from 1.98 to 1.77.
Hong Seong-ho hits his first career home run, Yang Yang-ji saves the day in the ninth inning for Park Chi-kook.
The Doosan bats didn’t get many hits either. Kim Min-woo pitched well, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts.
However, he was in the right place at the right time and took the pressure off Alcantara. In the second inning, Yang reached on an error and Kim Jae-hwan was hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second, Hong Seong-ho, who was called up on the day, took a swing at a pitch in front of the right fielder to lead off the inning. It was the first professional hit for Hong, who joined Doosan in 2016 and spent most of his career with the Futures (second team).
In the third inning, Jeong Soo-bin singled to center and Kim Dae-ki singled to left to put runners on first and third with no outs, and Yang Ji, who leads the league with a .441 batting average, took a light swing and sent a ball into left field for a sacrifice fly to bring in Jeong Soo-bin.
Two runs were enough for Alcantara. He survived the seventh inning and into the eighth, firing 107 pitches to shut down the Hanwha bats. Closer Hong Gun-hee, who took the mound in the ninth, was shaken. Pinch-hitter Kim Tae-yeon was hit by three straight singles, followed by Moon Hyun-bin and Jung Eun-won.
The bases were loaded. The Doosan bench was mobilized. Underhanded Park Chi-kook took the mound. At the plate, Noh Si-hwan, who has been hitting the ball the hottest lately. However, he hit a grounder to the shortstop and traded two outs for a run. Even Chae Eun-sung became a hero as she saved the day with a pop fly to shortstop.