If we hadn’t brought him in, we would have been in trouble. He has established himself as an ace in the KBO and beyond.
Thomas Pannoni pitched another great game. On May 5, he pitched 6⅔ innings against Gwangju Hanwha Jeonseo, allowing three runs on seven hits with 10 strikeouts and two walks to earn his second win of the season. In four games, he is 2-0 with a 2.01 ERA. He returns as an upgrade from last year and brings energy to the KIA mound.
On the day, Panoni threw 31 pitches, 34 cutters, 24 curves, and 12 changeups. His fastball tops out at 144 mph and averages 141 mph. It’s a typical Finesse pitch, but it’s powerful. When he winds it up, he keeps his legs high to generate power, and when he doesn’t, he does a good job of tying up runners.
He has a wide variety of pitches, including timing battles and borderline pitches. Catcher Kim Tae-gun, who received a ball from Pannoni, said, “Even if it looks easy, it has a lot of power.” He’s a pitcher with a good rotation.
On this day, he intentionally used a lot of curves and cutters. As a catcher, you can use a variety of pitches because you have good command no matter which pitch you choose. He threw 101 pitches for 70 strikes. I threw first-pitch strikes to 18 of the 28 batters I faced. That’s why he struck out 10 batters.
The KIA starters need to eat up innings. The bullpen has accumulated fatigue from the first half. Panoni has been doing this game after game. Four innings, five innings, and two 6⅔ innings. If he can manage his pitches, he could go seven innings and be an ace. The way he’s pitching right now is enough to be called an ace. Even with runners on base, he doesn’t falter.
Yang Hyun-jong hasn’t been the same this season, and Mario Sanchez’s upward trend was interrupted by a midweek at-bat against Samsung Electronics. Lee Yi-ri and Yoon Young-chul aren’t quite ready to be aces yet. Panoni will need to be their fence.
“First of all, it’s good for the team to continue the winning streak. We’ve been aggressive in the strike zone. I was able to get two strikes early and put myself in a good position to fight the count, which is why I got a lot of strikeouts. My curveball was working as well as I thought it would. I’m personally disappointed that I didn’t finish the seventh inning, but I’m glad Jang Hyun-sik did a good job behind me.” 안전놀이터
“It’s a little hard to play in the heat, but today the bats came through with big innings and gave me some time to rest and take some pressure off of me physically. I want to continue to pitch long innings like this and be a player that helps the team win.”
“Even though Panoni gave up three runs, he was able to go 6⅔ innings and minimize bullpen usage,” said Kim Jong-kook. I think it will be a big help for us to manage the bullpen tomorrow. He is showing the kind of innings that the manager expected from an innings-eater.”