Lee Jae-hak (33), a sidearm pitcher for the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), smiled brightly as he revealed that he has fully recovered from the pain in the back of his hand.
“I have a little bit of a heavy feeling, but I don’t have any problems throwing,” Lee said ahead of the second game of the 2023 KBO Playoffs (PO) against the KT Wiz at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon on the 31st, “I recovered well. I can pitch in today’s game, so stay tuned,” he said.
Core bullpen Lee Jae-hak was hit on the back of his right hand by a hard hit by opposing team Oh Tae-gon in the third game of the semi-playoffs (semi-PO) against SSG Landers on April 25.
He pitched through the injury and got the final out.
Relying on Lee’s fighting spirit, NC defeated SSG 7-5 to advance to the Playoffs (PO).
“I was very surprised, but fortunately there was no problem with my bones,” said Lee Jae-hak. “In fact, I was worried because I broke a bone earlier in the season when I was hit by a ball, but I’m glad nothing major happened,” he said.
“I have not been able to contribute to the team in the postseason, so this year I am enjoying fall baseball with a new mindset,” he said, “and I will try to help the team advance to the Korean Series (KS).”
Franchise pitcher Lee Jae-hak, NC’s homegrown ace, hasn’t pitched in the postseason since 2017.
He didn’t make the roster in 2020, the year NC won the Korean Series, and was forced to watch his teammates win the title on TV.
Last winter, he was eligible for free agency, but he wasn’t properly valued and didn’t sign until a month after the free agency market opened, signing a 2+1 year deal with his original team, NC, for up to 900 million won.
His pride could have been bruised, but Lee Jae-hak gritted his teeth.
He led the starting lineup through June with a 2-1 record and a 2.70 ERA in six games.
But on June 22, Lee suffered a setback when he was hit by a pitch against the LG Twins, breaking his metatarsals, the bones in his ankle.
After more than two months of recovery and dedication, Lee bounced back with flying colors.
In five games since September, he has been unchanged, posting a 2.95 ERA.
Lee is back in the postseason for the first time in six years since 2017, and he’s fought through the bad luck of being hit by a pitch.
“I’m just grateful that I didn’t get hurt too badly,” Lee said, “and I want to throw the ball without regret as I’m playing in the postseason for the first time in a long time.” 파워볼사이트