The SSG Landers secured the win without their veteran pitchers and closer.
SSG won 5-4 against the KIA Tigers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Monday at Gwangju Kia Champions Field. SSG won its third straight game to complete the series sweep and improve to 35-1, 18-0 on the season. Despite the loss of starting pitcher Park Jong-hoon, the team was able to secure the win thanks to its deep bullpen depth.
On this day, SSG did not use their core bullpen members Ko Hyo-joon, Noh Kyung-eun, and Seo Jin-yong in the game. They had pitched two straight games. They threw a lot of pitches. Coach Kim Won-hyung moved them to Changwon early to give them a break. This was to prepare them for the three-game weekend series against the NC Dinos starting on the 9th.
“I told Ko Hyo-joon, Noh Kyung-eun, and Seo Jin-yong to go to Changwon as soon as possible,” Kim said. The starting pitchers will depart for the next location on their original travel date. I also sent the bullpen pitchers with them. We let them finish their training. They played for two days and threw a lot of pitches. To take care of them, we gave them a break.”
Go Hyo-joon, Noh Kyung-eun, and Seo Jin-yong are the nucleus of SSG’s bullpen this year. Go is 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 26 games and 21 innings pitched, while Noh is 4-1 with a 1.50 ERA in 28 games and 30 innings pitched, with 15 holds and two saves. Seo Jin-yong has been the backstop with a 1.03 ERA in 26 games and 26⅓ innings pitched, with 20 saves. 스포츠토토
That’s why his role as a starter was so important. With a shortage of bullpen pitchers to call upon, Jong-hoon had to work long innings. Coach Kim said, “We have three guys in the bullpen. Jong-hoon has to pitch long innings. He won the previous two games, so I hope he’s psychologically comfortable throwing the ball.”
However, Jong-hoon was unable to overcome his pitching struggles and was pulled early after giving up four runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings with four walks and four strikeouts. The bullpen was immediately called upon. Starting in the fifth inning, Iroon shut down the KIA bats with two scoreless innings of no-hit ball, no walks and three strikeouts.
While the bullpen held on without allowing another run. The SSG bats started to come alive. Trailing 4-5 in the seventh inning, Kim Min-sik tied the game with a solo shot, and with runners on first and second and third in the ensuing at-bats, SSG turned the game around with a sacrifice fly by Choi Jung.
SSG regained the lead and immediately sent Choi Min-jun to the mound. Choi pitched two scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts, and Moon Seung-won, who came on in the ninth inning, closed out the game with one scoreless inning of relief.