Hanwha’s foreign pitcher Felix Peña (33) took the loss against the Gwangju KIA on April 26, giving up six runs on nine hits in four innings. The four innings tied his personal record for fewest innings pitched this year. The previous two games were in April, when he was struggling with pollen allergies.
There was a twist in this game. In the third inning, Peña was able to keep the game scoreless, but in the fourth inning, when Socrates Brito was batting with the bases loaded, something happened to Peña’s body. His right hand was bleeding from his throwing hand. He had scratched the top of his thumb with his index and middle fingernails while throwing a changeup.
Pitching coach Park Seung-min came up to check on her, but she continued to pitch. Despite the bleeding, Peña continued to throw, wiping the blood off his uniform pants. As the No. 1 starter for a team that has lost four straight games, Peña pitched responsibly, but the results were disappointing. He gave up five runs on six hits in the fourth inning alone. Hanwha also failed to snap a four-game losing streak with a 4-12 reverse.
Peña, who has pitched a team-high 138 innings in 24 games this season, is 8-8 with a 3.39 ERA, but has struggled in his last four starts with three losses and a 7.29 ERA. His last outing was against the Suwon KT on April 9, when he gave up eight runs on six hits, one walk and two strikeouts in 4⅓ innings.
He followed that up with two quality starts of 6⅓ innings and three runs in two consecutive games, but suffered another setback against KIA due to a bleeding finger. Despite the disappointment, Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho has kept his faith in Peña.
“It’s not like Peña had three or four bad games in a row,” Choi said. Any starter can have a slump of one or two games after pitching well. I don’t think it’s something to take too seriously,” Choi said. “After more than 10 quality starts, he’s been a little off lately. It’s a tough time for him physically, and it’s a combination of the rain and the fact that it’s hard to control the conditions.”토토사이트
According to Choi, Peña has been consistent, starting 13 out of 14 matches with a quality start from May 4 against Jamsil Doosan to August 3 against Daejeon Doosan. Hanwha’s upward trend in the two months since May was largely due to Peña’s consistent six-plus innings.
Fortunately, the bleeding on his finger is temporary and he will be ready for his next start. “My index and middle fingernails cut the skin on the top of my thumb. It often happens when you poke and press hard with your nails, but it doesn’t happen every time. It would be nice to put a bandage on it, but I can’t do that because it could be a problem (prohibiting the use of foreign objects when pitching),” Choi said, adding, “It won’t affect my next start.”