“To be honest, I was upset.”
KIA ‘returning’ foreign pitcher Thomas Pannoni (29) pitched compliantly in his comeback game. He wanted to throw more, but stopped at the right time. Panoni himself seemed to be somewhat satisfied.
Pannoni started the 2023 KBO League regular season game against Samsung on Wednesday at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field and pitched four innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. He threw 76 pitches.
There were no wins or losses. He came in with a 1-2 deficit, but the bats rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
On the day, Panoni topped out at 143 mph. His average is 140 mph. He also had a powerful cutter that topped out at 142 mph and averaged 139 mph. It’s an improvement from last season, and a solid weapon.
Similar velocity on his fastball and cutter. Samsung’s hitters didn’t respond well to it, with a lot of missed pitches. Curve was his third pitch, with a changeup sprinkled in. Overall, his pitches stood out.
When asked after the game, Panoni said, “Overall, I think I did okay. I didn’t give up a run until the third inning, and then I got shaky in the fourth. But I was fine. Physically, I didn’t have any problems. I just got hit by the first two batters, and I wanted to get a quick out, and I think that’s when I got chased.”
“Of course I wanted to throw more,” he said, “but I hadn’t pitched in about two weeks. I traveled to Korea in the meantime. There’s also the jet lag. I think I quit at the right time,” he laughed.
As for the improvement in his cutter, he said, “I focused on it in the offseason and continued to work on it when I came into the season. I’m trying to match my fastball and throw it fast. I think there’s a synergistic effect.”
He said he is happy to be back in Korea. “I have good memories of last season. When I signed with KIA again, I was happy, I was happy. Actually, I was a little bit angry when they didn’t re-sign me because I was good last year. I was a little bit upset when they didn’t re-sign me.”
“The past is the past. I’m back again. I’m happy to be back at Kia. I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m going to enjoy it.” A huge smile spread across his face.
In fact, he made it to the big leagues. Not too long ago. He made his first appearance for Milwaukee against Pittsburgh on April 1, pitching 2.2 innings with four strikeouts and two runs allowed. He was later designated for assignment and put on a KIA uniform.온라인바카
“I got called up to the major leagues while I was negotiating with KIA. I was grateful that Milwaukee called me up, but I really wanted to come to KIA. Milwaukee recognized that and took me off the roster. That’s how I got here,” he laughed.
Now it’s just a matter of doing well. Manager Kim Jong-kook hopes that he and Mario Sanchez will be able to share a starting role or two. Panoni is equally determined.
“My goal is to pitch well every game,” he said. I have to do my best with every pitch. It’s my job to help the team win. I’m going to pitch long and hard every time I’m out there.”