SSG Landers enters semi-playoff series. It looks like we won’t be seeing any more “closers” this fall.
SSG will host the NC Dinos in the first round of the 2023 KBO postseason semifinals at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Nov. 22. NC, who finished fourth in the regular season, defeated the Doosan Bears in the wild-card deciding game.
SSG battled for position in the second half of the regular season. At one point, they were tied with the LG Twins for second place, but they fell from second to third, fourth to sixth. There were times when we were worried about whether we would be able to play fall baseball. Choi “Fixer” Jung was unable to complete the season due to a left hamstring injury at the last minute, and Kirk McCarty, who was the “first choice” outfielder, was out for the regular season due to an adductor muscle injury.
However, last year’s overall champions showed their mettle. The remaining players stepped up. Han Yoo-seom exploded in the batting order, and on the mound, foreign starter Roenis Elias, veteran pitcher Seung-jo Noh, and closer Seo Jin-yong held up well.
In particular, Seo Jin-yong pitched well. He pitched 73 innings, the sixth-most of any bullpen in the league, due to the number of close games throughout the season. Eighth most, 69 appearances. It’s a tough job, and he struggled at the end of the season. But he held up well in the big battles, and SSG was able to hold on to third place in the regular season. Seo finished the year with 42 saves, a 5-4 record, and a 2.59 ERA.
Seo is the league’s saves leader this season. He is the third save king in the club’s history after Cho Woong-chun (SSG pitching coach) in 2003 and Ha Jae-hoon (current outfielder) in 2019. In addition, Seo became the first pitcher in the club’s history to achieve 40 saves.
He is the ninth 40-save pitcher in KBO history. It is the sixth 40-save closer. In response to Seo’s achievement, foreign manager Trey Hillman, who managed SSG’s predecessor SK in the 2017 and 2018 seasons and led the team to the 2018 Korean Series title, sent a congratulatory video from Texas, USA.
“I’m sending you a message from Texas, USA,” Hillman said, “I remember when you started pitching as a closer. “Congratulations on the most saves in a single season and the most saves in the league this season. I wish you a very long and successful career.”
Amidst all the congratulations, there are also expectations. Right now, the team needs Seo to protect them in the fall. He also needs to stop worrying about finishing.
In 2018 and 2022, the biggest worry was the tailgate. The Korean Series was close. We needed a surefire card to secure the win. On November 12, 2018, the pitcher who took the mound in the 13th inning of Game 6 of the Korean Series against the Doosan Bears was Kim Kwang-hyun.
On that day, Kim preserved a one-run victory with a fastball and slider that reached up to 154 kilometers per hour against Baek Min-ki, Yang Ji, and Park Geon-woo, and celebrated with open arms on the mound after winning the Korean Series.카지노사이트
Kim Kwang-hyun was on the mound in the final moments of the KBO’s first-ever wire-to-wire regular-season title last year, which sent them directly to the Korean Series. In Game 6 of the Korean Series against Kiwoom on Nov. 8 last year, with his team leading 4-3 and the bases loaded in the top of the ninth inning, Kwang-hyun got Kim Tae-jin to ground out to shortstop and Lee Ji-young to fly out to first base.
This year, SSG has a save king. Seo Jin-yong pitched the bottom of the ninth inning against Doosan in Jamsil on April 16, giving up a solo home run to Kim In-tae, but he preserved his team’s 3-2 victory by reaching a maximum of 149 kilometers per hour.
He had been throwing 145 to 146 mph, but on that day, he threw 148 mph and topped out at 149 mph. He said he “got a feel for it,” and it will be interesting to see if he can keep it up in the fall.