Now, he doesn’t want to be greedy. He only focuses on what he can do and what he needs to do, and his performance has changed. In his first season as a free agent, he ranked third in wins (14)토토사이트 and ninth in ERA (3.42). He is also expected to start the Korean Series.
Lim will start LG’s final game of the regular season on April 15. Although LG had already clinched first place, they had a clear reason to win this game. In addition to receiving the regular season championship trophy from the KBO, it was also a chance to let the home fans know they were going to the Korean Series. With 139 innings pitched in 29 games, the game was on the line for Im Chan-kyu.
With a team and personal goal in mind, Im took the mound and pitched 5⅔ innings of one-run ball to secure the win. LG finished the regular season with a record of 86 wins, 2 ties, 56 losses, and a .606 winning percentage, thanks to his 5-2 victory. Lim had his best season since debuting with a 14-3 record and a 3.42 ERA. His wins ranked third and first among Korean pitchers, while his ERA ranked ninth and fourth among Korean pitchers.
Before the game, manager Yeom Kyung-yup said, “We could have sent Im Chan-kyu out on the 14th, but we pushed it to the 15th. I’m giving him the ‘homegrown ace treatment'” and laughed. Im Chan-kyu lived up to his coach’s expectations and gave the team the win. As he walked off the mound, the LG fans gave him a standing ovation, and he took off his hat and waved.
After the game, he said, “I never thought of myself as an ace. I just feel like my performance this year has gone well. I’ve had help from my teammates, but I’ve only had a few matches (where I’ve played) to say I’ve been an ace, and it’s not been a few years, and I’ve been a little bit good this year, so I never think of myself as an ace. The biggest thing is that I need to do it for the next two or three years and beyond,” he said.
“In order to achieve such a result, I prepared for the season ‘for the sake of the team’ with regret that I couldn’t sacrifice for the team last year than if I just prepared for the season, and the result was better. (This mindset) will be more helpful in preparing for the season in the future,” he added (as if he wasn’t thinking about a free agent transfer).
Im Chan-gyu has always been a player who tries different things even when his performance is not good. This year, even his thoughts have changed. After the game on the 15th, I was able to hear things that I hadn’t heard from him before. He decided to stop playing baseball out of desperation and greed.
“It’s always bad to think too much on the mound, whether it’s positive or negative, so I wanted to do the minimum and be as simple as possible, but I kept thinking about whether it would be different. These are external factors in a way. I realized that if I aimed for an outcome that I couldn’t control, I would be chased, so I did a lot of preparation to just throw the ball the way I wanted to. I kept doing (imagery training) every day for a couple days before the game. When I was on the mound, if I had any of those thoughts (about the outcome), I practiced how to (shake them off) and stay focused. I’m glad those things seemed to pay off.”
He also said that his experience in long relief had a positive impact on clearing his mind on the mound. “Maybe I’m just saying it helped because the results were good. However, I think my failure last year also laid the foundation for my success this year. I also thought about this during my image training. It’s not like it’s going to change my life or death if I don’t make it through the regulation innings today. Then you use more energy. So I tried to relax as much as possible, and I was able to relax thanks to the long relief start.”
Coach Yoon Kyung-yup’s faith in him also helped him. “May was a big month for me. The manager will let me throw 100 pitches even if my fastball is 135 kilometers per hour. He said I should be responsible for 90 to 100 pitches, and I should pitch more than five innings. That was the first time I heard that in baseball, and from then on it became a new game. I was able to try different things because I knew the manager was going to trust me, and I was able to throw with less effort instead of throwing with desperation. I realized something different. It was a different feeling than before, and that was the key point.”
Lim hasn’t had much success in postseason starts. In the 2021 semifinals, he was pulled after giving up three runs on four hits (one home run) in 2⅓ innings against the Doosan. A high pitch to Jose Fernandez turned into a home run, which led to more runs. In the 2019 semifinals, he started against Kiwoom but was pulled after one inning. Again, a home run led to a run. He gave up two runs in the first inning, including a home run to Park Byung-ho.
Going forward, he won’t let the past get in the way. “It’s actually the same ball at 18.44 meters, but I don’t think it helps to think about it differently because it’s the Korean Series or the Future League. I have no experience in the Korean Series, but I try to throw with the same mindset as possible. Even if I don’t relax, my body will react that way. I think it will be more counterproductive if I tense up mentally,” he said.
“The bottom line is simple. “The bottom line is simple: trying to make up for the past is a goal for the outcome. I can’t control the outcome. I have to make up for it, I have to make a quality start, or I have to pitch five innings, and if I’m not achieving that goal, I’m going to think about something else on the mound. So I’ve repeatedly failed until now. (Now) I think the best result will be to pitch my best without worrying about the content until the manager tells me to come down.”