I feel so sorry for Byung Hyun Kim. I even had him on my
rotisserie baseball roster for part of this season. The guy
is 22, playing in a foreign country where he doesn't speak
the language, and because his teammates in the bullpen
are lousy he has to grow up on the biggest stage in baseball
in the most intense of pressure situations one could
First there was the 61 pitch relief outing (just 27 pitches
fewer than Curt Schilling threw in 7 innings) in Game Four.
Probably one of the longest relief outings of the season,
throwing out strange cases like Randy Johnson coming
in to pitch relief for Schilling in a rain delayed game. Then,
one night after his tragic defeat, he's back out there with
no days of rest for another inning. It was clearly still
Brenly's best relief pitching option, but man that's rough.
I really wanted him to strike out Brosius.
Thing is, his teammates can't even speak Korean, so how
do they empathize with him, truly make him feel like he
didn't just blow the World Series for his team? I can't help
but think of Donnie Moore, who killed himself after blowing
a save in the playoffs, or Rick Ankiel, who melted down in
the playoffs last year and is still trying to make it back
to the major leagues, or Mitch Williams, who was driven
out of baseball. Kim is talented. He throws side-arm/submarine
style, can crank his pitches up over 90 mph in that style,
and has filthy movement. I hope he recovers from all of this.
It does make me think that being a closer requires not
necessarily a particular repertoire of pitches but a
different sort of psychological makeup. So much can happen
in that one inning you pitch. Usually the score is tight.
One pitch or home run can lose the game, decisively.
All the good work your teammates did can be undone
quickly, and the blame would be centered on you.
You suspect Rivera has that type of makeup, though
since he's never blown a save in the postseason, we've
never seen how he would react.