Despite two home runs, Raul Alcantara (30-Dusan Bears) achieved his usual Quality Start Plus (three earned runs or less over seven innings of work), but a bullpen fire prevented him from reaching 11 wins.
Alcantara started the Bears’ regular-season opener against the Samsung Lions of the 2023 KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Monday, allowing two runs on four hits (two homers) in seven innings with three strikeouts and no walks. His fastball topped out at 155 km/h and he left the mound in the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead and the win requirement. However, that requirement was erased by Kim Myung-shin’s run in the eighth.
Alcantara, who won 20 games for Doosan in 2020 and won the Pitcher’s Golden Glove, returned to Doosan after a two-year stint with the Hanshin Tigers of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and is back on the mound as an ace. This season, he was 10-5 with a 2.46 ERA before this game.
In particular, he stood out for his stability in pursuit of the minimum number of runs in each game. In the 20 games prior to this one, he had 15 quality starts (6+ innings of 3 earned runs or less) (75%) and 6 quality starts plus. With this performance, his season quality start rate is 76.2%.
However, his pace hasn’t been great lately. After winning every game until March 21, he gave up six runs in five and two-thirds innings against the LG Twins on March 28, contributing to the team’s third straight loss. He followed that up with a quality start against the Hanwha Eagles on March 3 with six innings of three-run ball, but was shut down by Felix Peña and suffered back-to-back losses.
On this day, he regained his composure. He was perfect until the bottom of the fourth inning. None of the Samsung batters reached first base. Only in the fourth inning did Koo Ja-ook, the team’s top hitter (0.333), break the streak with a single to right field, but he was unable to score.
Alcantara’s ironclad defense faltered in the fifth inning. Doosan scored the first run of the inning on a solo home run by Jose Rojas, which started a home run seesaw. Samsung responded with a home run of their own in the top of the fifth. Jose Pirela took a 154 km/h fastball up the middle from Alcantara and crushed it over the left field fence to tie the game.
Doosan regained the lead on a solo shot by Kim Jae-hwan, but Samsung answered right back. The perfect pitcher did it again. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Koo tied the game when Alcantara’s splitter in a one-ball, one-strike situation went into the zone and he connected with a solo shot over the center field fence in Jamsil.
Still, the two home runs were not enough. Alcantara got the final out of the sixth inning on a fly ball to Kang Min-ho to prevent further damage. He then pitched the seventh, needing just six pitches to get a triple play to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the bats provided the game-winning runs. Doosan took a one-run lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on a single by Jung Soo-bin, a sacrifice bunt by Kim Jae-ho and an RBI single by Yang Seok-hwan on a wild pitch by Rojas, and Alcantara closed out the seventh inning to preserve the lead and earn his 11th win.먹튀검증
But the bullpen couldn’t protect the lead. Doosan sent up right-hander Kim Myung-shin in the eighth to try to rally, but a Kim Sung-yoon RBI single tied the game and eliminated Alcantara’s win requirement.
The game was still 3-3 in the top of the eighth, and Samsung had runners on second and third with no outs.