Birch Smith (34, Miami Marlins), who left the worst memory for Hanwha Eagles fans, is slowly making a soft landing on the major league stage.
Smith pitched as a relief pitcher against the Atlanta Braves in the 2024 Major League Baseball regular season at Truist Park in Cumberland, Georgia, on the 25th (Korea time), and recorded two hits, one strikeout and no run in one ⅓. After his 10th appearance, Smith lowered his ERA from 4.22 to 3.75, entering the three-point range for the first time this season.

Smith took the mound as the team’s second pitcher after starting pitcher Sixto Sanchez (five hits, one walk, three strikeouts and three runs in two ⅔ innings).

Smith took over the mound with two outs and a runner on second base in the top of the third inning when Miami was losing 1-2, and Marcell Ozuna hit a timely hit, allowing the runner to lose a point. Then, with two outs and a runner on first base, Orlando Arcia handled it with a fly ball to center field in the second pitch to clean up the inning.

In the top of the fourth inning, Smith got a hit while throwing a cutter on first pitch to leadoff batter Jarrod Kellnick. Then, he allowed a straight walk to Chadwick Tromp, causing runners at first and second bases with no outs. At the moment of crisis, Smith had a full count match against Luis Guillermo, and after pitching a fastball towards his body for the sixth time, he induced a grounder, which was a double play.

Smith faced off against Ronald Acuña Jr., the MVP of the National League last year, with two outs and a third base. After striking with the first-pitch cutter, the second pitch induced a foul with a fastball of 96.4 mph (155.1 km/h), which is the fastest among the pitches Smith threw on the day.

Smith, who made a 0-2 advantageous ball count, struck out Acuña Jr. by hitting a 96.1 mph fastball on the third high course.

Miami recovered two runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game 3-3 and lead the game to extra time, but lost 3-4 in the bottom of the 10th after a walk-off double by Michael Harris II. 안전놀이터

Smith, who made his major league debut with the San Diego Padres in 2013, went through the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants, and Oakland Athletics, and entered the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB) stage with a record of 5 wins, 11 losses, 1 save, 5 holds, and a 6.03 ERA in 102 games until 2021.
Although the Seibu Lions had a decent record of one win, four holds, one save and an earned run average of 3.29, it ended up playing 38 ⅓ innings due to frequent injuries. Smith, who wants to be the starting pitcher, and Seibu, who wants to be the starting pitcher, have yet to renew their contract due to differences of opinion over their position. Eventually, Smith signed a one million-dollar contract with Hanwha, which treated him as the starting pitcher, to enter the KBO league.

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