“The juniors are so good”…Lim Jung-ho, happy even if he’s not a mainstay
It’s okay to take a step back. I can support the younger guys.
Left-handed reliever Lim Jung-ho, 33, is one of the most senior members of the NC Dinos pitching staff. He hasn’t had many opportunities to pitch in the postseason, but he’s enjoyed watching the younger guys pitch. In particular, Kim Young-kyu, Ryu Jin-wook, and Choi Seong-young have been dominant in the middle innings.
“I’m really proud of my younger brothers. I wasn’t as good as them when I was their age,” he said. “There are many juniors who are new to fall baseball, so I tried to tell them what I felt in the past. I wanted to give them a center, and I’m really happy that they’re doing well.”
Ryu Jin-wook is a prime example. In his fourth season in the first team, he has become the centerpiece of the Pilseungs. This year, he played in the postseason for the first time. “It’s my first fall baseball, so I asked my brothers (Lim) Jung-ho and (Lee) Yong-chan a lot of questions,” Ryu said.
“In the first game of the wild-card game (a 14-9 win over the Doosan Bears), when the other team scored, (Ryu) Jin-wook got excited and started flying around, so I told him, ‘Jin-wook, you have to pitch when it matters, like the eighth inning, so be calm and be ready. You have to do what you have to do,'” he laughed. “I’m not that old, but all the pitchers on my team are young. Somehow, I’m the oldest. I wish I was younger,” he smiled.
NC finished the regular season in fourth place this year. It advanced to the next stage by winning the first game of the wild-card deciding series against No. 5 Doosan. In the semi-finals (best-of-five), they smiled with a three-game sweep of the season’s third-place SSG Landers. They are now on a four-game winning streak in the postseason this year.
Lim Jung-ho also shared the load with the juniors. In his previous 16 postseason appearances, Lim went 6-1 with a 9.00 ERA in 16 innings pitched. “In fall baseball, you can’t try to do something, because you’ll overdo it,” he said, “so I tried to prepare according to what the manager asked me to do.”
In Game 1 of the wild-card deciding game, he came on in relief with runners on second and first in the top of the eighth inning with an 8-5 lead. The first batter, Jae-Hwan Kim, singled up the middle. Center fielder Jason Martin rushed the ball and lost it twice. Martin’s throwing error allowed a run to score. The score was 8-6, runners on second and third. The NC bench immediately pulled Lim and brought in closer Lee Yong-chan.
Lim said, “I was disappointed. I was disappointed that I couldn’t finish the inning,” he reflected.
He didn’t get a chance to pitch in the first and second games of the semifinals. Ahead of Game 3, NC head coach Kang Myung-ho said, “Lim didn’t have a very good performance at the end of the season. His arm wasn’t 100%, so I was worried. He’ll be out for Game 3, so we’ll see what happens.”
In eight games and 5⅔ innings in October, Lim faltered with two losses and three holds with an ERA of 11.12. “In the second half, my stamina dropped and my body ached. “I think it got worse as the weather got colder. I felt sorry for the team because I was so bad. I was trying to do well in the postseason.”
She bounced back in game three. With a 7-6 lead in the top of the seventh, he entered the game with runners on first and second. He pitched 1 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, striking out one and walking none to earn the save. He faced pinch-hitter Kang Jin-sung and the No. 1 through No. 4 hitters Choo Shin-soo, Guillermo Heredia, Choi Jeong, and Han Yu-seom. NC secured a 7-6 victory and a spot in the playoffs.
“Even if I got hit, I tried to compete as much as I could, and it turned out well because I didn’t leave any runners on base,” said Lim. “I wanted to warm up in the bullpen and play in the game, but it wasn’t possible. It was nice to finally be able to share the load with the juniors.”먹튀검증
The team will begin the playoffs (best-of-five series) against the regular season runner-up KT Wiz on April 30. After finishing the semi-playoffs on the 25th, NC has four days off. Lim Jung-ho said, “I’m glad I can rest a lot. I’ll try to improve my arm condition so I can pitch well,” he said, adding, “I don’t have a special mindset. I’ll just go out when the manager lets me go,” he said.
“I just want to lead my younger brothers and help my older brothers and have a good series like I’ve been doing,” he said. “Everyone is doing a good job, so I think we’ll do well if we keep doing what we’re doing.