The last pitcher in the KBO to finish a season with an ERA below one run per nine innings was Hyun-jin Ryu of the 2010 Hanwha Eagles (now Toronto Blue Jays – 1.82). Since then, several pitchers have attempted the feat, but no one had accomplished it for 12 years until last year.
In the entire history of the KBO, there have only been 21 sub-1 ERAs in regulation innings, and 20 of those came in the 1990s. Ryu Hyun-jin set the record in 2010. Since then, Yang Hyun-jong (1.77) of the KIA Tigers in 2015, Dan Streeley (1.95) of the Lotte Giants in 2020, and Kim Kwang-hyun (1.65) and Wilmer Font (1.96) of the SSG Landers last year have finished the first half of the season with sub-one ERAs, but none of them have been able to maintain it through the end of the season.
A sub-one ERA in regulation innings is a sign of tremendous stability throughout the season. It’s also worth noting that as the season progresses, the physical demands on a pitcher’s body increase, and it’s easier for an ERA to get worse than it is to get better as innings accumulate. In the case of Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes), his ERA of 1.61 through June 22 worsened to 2.44 in the last three games of the first half, as he gave up 13 earned runs in 17.2 innings. In 2010, Hyun-jin Ryu saw his ERA rise from 1.57 in the first half to 1.82 by the end of the year. A sub-1 ERA is not an easy feat to achieve. 메이저놀이터
So far this season, Eric Peddy (NC Dinos) and Raul Alcantara (Doosan Bears) are the only two pitchers with sub-one ERAs in regulation. Pedi finished the first half with a 12-2 record and a 1.71 ERA (17 earned runs in 89.2 innings) in 15 games. It’s amazing that he’s maintained a sub-1 ERA since the start of the season. His worst ERA was 1.74. His 1.89 ground ball (100)/53 fly ball (53) ratio, which is the highest among pitchers who have completed a full season of work (league average is 1.04), is another key to his consistency. “A good ERA helps the team, so I want to keep my ERA in the sub-one range, and there’s a lot of pride and desire in that,” Pedi said.
Alcantara is 9-3 with a 2.03 ERA (24 earned runs in 106.2 innings) in 17 games. His pitching alone is an improvement over his 2020 season, when he finished with a 20-2 record and a 2.54 ERA. While he finished the first half of the season with a 2.54 ERA, he maintained a 1.97 ERA until the Jamsil Lotte Giants on April 2, so we’ll be interested to see how he does in the second half.
Adam Plutko (LG Twins), who is 11-1 with a 2.21 ERA in 17 games, and Ahn Woo-jin, who is 6-5 with a 2.44 ERA in 17 games, are also not ready to give up just yet. Will there be another sub-1 ERA pitcher this year to follow in Ryu’s footsteps?