After losing a tough game Tuesday night, the Norfolk Tides bounced back and won in decisive fashion, beating the Charlotte Knights by a score of 10-3. The bats for Norfolk were very much alive as Francisco Peguero went 3-4 on the night and score four separate times. Alexi Casilla also performed well at the plate last night going 2-3 with three runs batted in.
However, the player who I want to talk about is the man who was on the mound for Norfolk: Suk-min Yoon. Yoon has had a tough time in the Minor Leagues and making the transition from Korean baseball to American baseball. He currently holds a 1-5 record on the year in Norfolk with a 6.75 ERA.
Despite a non-impressive record and overall ERA, the South Korean right-hander has shown promise. In consecutive starts from April 18th to April 29th, Yoon only allowed one earned run in three starts and 15.2 combined innings of work.
Wednesday night’s game looked as though Yoon was going to have another great start and, with the stellar run support he was getting from his teammates, record his second win with the Norfolk Tides. Retiring the first four batters in just 14 pitches, Yoon was in command of his pitches.
Although he gave up a home run to left field in the second inning, Yoon settled down and retired the next eight batters he faced. In that span of “lights-out” pitching, Yoon struck out three batters.
Unfortunately, Yoon’s last inning would be the fifth and it would not be because a lack of effectiveness. The Knights lead-off batter stepped into the box and after looking at a pitch up and in, lined a shot right back to Yoon that actually deflected off of Yoon’s knee.
Watching the video about ten times in a row, it appears Yoon was able to react quick enough and get his right leg in front of the incoming ball, avoiding injury to his pivot leg.
Unfortunately, the ball did hit extremely hard off of his right knee cap as the impact of the baseball ricocheting off his knee caused the ball to bounce and roll about ten feet to the right of the first base line.
You can see Yoon drop to the ground immediately after impact and proceed to roll on top of the pitcher’s mound in pain, grasping his knee.
Yoon would have to leave the game because it was too unbearable to go on pitching. He, in fact, had to be helped off the field when leaving the game. No further information about Yoon’s injury has been given at this time.
Yoon was charged with the second earned run of the night as the Knight who hit Yoon to get on first later came around and scored off of a two out, bases loaded double given up by Norfolk reliever Nick Additon.
It was a shame that Yoon had to exit the game Wednesday because he was pitching so well. Even more unfortunate was the fact that because Yoon left before he completed the fifth inning, the official score keeper had to give the victory to the most effective relief pitcher who in their mind was Additon after he pitched three innings not allowing an earned run.
Yoon ended up throwing 47 pitches in four complete innings of work. The Orioles agreed to a three-year deal with Yoon and any type of delay in the 27-year-old’s progress as a pitcher would be detrimental and it would push back Yoon’s debut in the Majors even further.