‘Gloomy’ Samsung’s only hope… Why Buchanan is an ace

lowest Samsung defeated the tied 4th NC in enemy territory and escaped from the mire of 3 consecutive losses.

The Samsung Lions, led by coach Park Jin-man, won 8-0 with 11 hits, including one home run, in an away game against NC Dinos in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at NC Park in Changwon City on the 8th. Samsung, who escaped from the 3rd consecutive loss to the Doosan Bears in the 3rd consecutive match held in Pohang, the ‘2nd home stadium’, narrowed the ride to 9th place Hanwha Eagles, who lost 7-9 to SSG Landers, to 5.5 games (29-48). .

For Samsung, Kim Dong-jin, who hit a sacrifice fly in right field in the 3rd inning, became the main character of the final blow, and Jose Pirella played a big role with 2 hits, 3 RBIs, and 2 runs including his 9th home run of the season, leading Samsung to a major victory. In fact, Samsung finished the first half at the bottom, apart from the victory that day. The player who brings the greatest comfort to Samsung fans who are having such a gloomy season is David Buchanan, a foreign ace who is guarding the Samsung mound with unchanging skills even in the 4th year of the KBO League.

Samsung without a clear foreign ace

Samsung has won the Korean Series seven times since the 2000s. In fact, no team has won more championships than Samsung in the same period (SK Wyverns & SSG Landers 5 times). This is why there is no shortage of calling Samsung the ’21st century’s most prestigious club’.

Left-hander Scott Baker, who played an active role in 1998 when the foreign player system was introduced, won 15 games that year, but with an ERA of 4.13, he was far from the dominant pitcher in the league. Mexican left-hander Narciso Elvira, who led Samsung to its first Korean Series championship in 2002, took first place in 2002 with an outstanding record of 13 wins, 6 losses and 2.50 ERA. However, in 2003, when he expected a more outstanding performance, Elvira was kicked out with a poor record of 1 win, 1 loss and 7.06 in 6 games.

In 2006, when Seon Dong-yeol took over as head coach and achieved two consecutive Korean Series titles, Samsung had a foreign one-two punch leading to Team Harikala and Jamie Brown. Harikala and Brown combined for 23 wins in the regular league, and especially Harikala played well with 9.2 innings and 1 run (0.93 ERA) in 2 games in the Korean Series against Hanwha in 2006. However, Harikala failed to renew the contract because his pitch was not overwhelming, and Brown was weak in big games.

Samsung, which had been in a slump (?) for 2-3 years after 2 consecutive losses in the Korean Series, built a dynasty by setting an unprecedented record of 4 consecutive losses in the regular league and Korean Series after the appointment of coach Joong-il 스포츠토토Ryu (national team coach) in 2011. However, it is difficult to find a foreign pitcher who has definitely played the role of an ace even in the era when it was called the best dynasty in the history of the KBO League. Rick Vanden Hulk, who played for Samsung for two years and took first place in strikeouts (180) in 2014, also had 13 wins, his personal best.

Mitch Talbot, who had 10 wins in one season in the big leagues, became the winning percentage king with 14 wins and 3 losses in 2012, but failed to renew the contract with an average ERA of 3.97. In 2015, Alfredo Figaro, a fastball pitcher from the Dominican Republic, contributed to Samsung’s 5th consecutive victory in the Korean Series with a respectable record of 13 wins, 7 losses and 3.38, but Figaro collapsed with 10 runs (9 earned) in 8 innings in 2 games against Doosan in the Korean Series. . Samsung even had a foreign pitcher like Esmailin Karidae who came to Korea on a ‘medical tour’.

The best foreign pitcher in the history of the Samsung club Buchanan,

who made his big league debut as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2014, won 6 wins in 20 games as a starter for Philadelphia in 2014, but the following year was sluggish with 2 wins, 9 losses and 6.99 losses in 15 games, and the 2016 season After this, he was released from the team. Buchanan, who joined the Japanese professional baseball Yakult Swallows ahead of the 2017 season and played for three years, won a double-digit multiplier in 2018, but was released in 2019 with 4 wins, 6 losses and 4.79.

Even when Buchanan wore a Samsung uniform for a total of $850,000 ahead of the 2020 season, Samsung fans’ expectations were half and half. This is because there was not a single foreign pitcher who won a double-digit multiplier in the four years from 2016 to 2019, when Samsung’s dynasty era ended. However, Buchanan quickly emerged as Samsung’s foreign ace, setting a tie record with Samsung’s foreign pitcher’s most wins (15 wins) in a season, which Baker in 1998 had for 22 years from 2020, his first season with Samsung.

In 2021, when Samsung took second place in the regular league and went directly to the playoffs, Buchanan posted an even better record with 16 wins, 5 losses and 3.10, breaking the record for the most wins by a foreign pitcher in a season for the Samsung club. Even last year, when Albert Suarez, another foreign pitcher, suffered severe misfortune and stayed at 6 wins in the season with an average ERA of 2.49, Buchanan recorded an average ERA of 3.04, the best in 3 years in Korea, along with 11 wins, the most in the team.

Buchanan, who signed a new contract for a total of 1.6 million dollars in December last year and became Samsung’s longest-serving foreign player, is defending the Samsung mound with consistent performance despite the team’s extreme sluggishness and fall to the bottom this year. Buchanan, who started 16 games without skipping a rotation this year, is showing steady pitching with a record of 6-6 and 3.05 with 10 quality starts. Buchanan also won his 6th win of the season against NC on the 8th with 7 innings, 2 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs.

Known for showing little emotion on the mound, Buchanan is a player who entertains fans and fellow players with eccentric pranks and out-of-the-box behavior in the dugout on days he is not pitching. In particular, he holds individual ceremonies with key hitters in the team, such as Ja-wook Koo, Jae-il Oh, and Pirella. Samsung fans hope that Buchanan, the ace who gives fans a lot of joy on and off the field, will wear the Samsung uniform for a longer period of time.

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