It’s not fancy. He still has some work to do. But it’s clear that he’s the type of player the NC Dinos have been looking for. Tanner Tully (29) is making manager Kang Myung-hwa smile.
Tanner threw 90 pitches over six innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks in the visiting Doosan Bears’ 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Tuesday.
With the offense providing run support, Tanner picked up the win in just his second KBO start. Tanner’s performance was especially welcome news for fourth-place NC, which has 52 wins, 48 losses, and two ties, trailing second-place KT Wiz and third-place SSG Landers by four and three games, respectively.
NC has built the strongest starting lineup of any club in the early part of the season to contend for the top spot. After opening the season without Taylor Widener (Samsung Lions) due to injury, Eric Peddie with his new weapon called “sweeper,” a healthy Goo Chang-mo, and the early 20s trio of Shin Min-hyuk, Song Myung-ki, and Lee Yong-jun were able to break into the starting rotation and raise expectations.
The problem was consistency. The highly touted Koo Chang-mo has been out of the first team since early June due to elbow fatigue, while Lee Yong-joon and Song Myung-ki have been up and down, bouncing between the starting and bullpen. Shin Min-hyuk has also had his ups and downs. He often didn’t make it past the fifth inning. He started 18 games, but had only four quality starts (6+ innings, 3 earned runs or less). Even Choi Sung-young, who has recently gotten a chance to start again, has yet to record a QS.
NC is still second in team ERA at 3.72, behind only the LG Twins (3.60), but the consistency of its starters has been lacking. Looking at QS alone, one of the most intuitive indicators of whether a starter is doing his or her minimum, NC is tied for seventh with 36. Of those, Peddie alone was responsible for 14, or nearly 40%.
Widener didn’t join the team until late May, and even then he was up and down. Eventually, NC released him and brought in a new foreign pitcher, Tanner. NC was also looking for consistency. Tanner has played 159 games in the minor leagues, 131 of which were starts, and he’s a consistent innings pitched pitcher. This season, he started all 19 games for the New York Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate.
In his debut on May 15, Tanner’s fastball averaged just 139.9 mph. His inability to overpower hitters led to two home runs, but he was ultimately held to three runs in six innings. 안전놀이터
“I think he’ll be better than his first start, but he’s still not 100 percent,” Kang said before the game, referring to his fastball, which averaged less than 140 km/h. “I didn’t lose the game, but I was disappointed with my control. I think it will be better than my first start,” he said.
Tanner didn’t get off to a good start. He gave up a leadoff double to Park Kye-beom and a single to Jose Rojas in the first inning. However, the right-hander proved to be a master of crisis management. Tanner got Yang Seok-hwan to fly out to shortstop.