“I put it down and looked at it.”
SSG manager Kim Won-hyung (51) reflected on the previous day’s game against Samsung. He made the unorthodox decision to bring up closer Seo Jin-yong (31) with runners on first and second in the eighth inning. It worked, and the result was good, but he was willing to take a run.
Before the final game of the midweek series against Samsung in the 2023 KBO League regular season at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Sunday, Kim Won-hyung said, “Yesterday, I trusted Seo Jin-yong. I actually put my heart down. Regardless of trust, it wasn’t wrong to give up a run,” said Kim.
The day before, SSG had won 8-7. They came back from a 1-0 deficit to take a 1-3 lead. After allowing a 7-7 tie, they scored a run in the top of the seventh to take an 8-7 lead.
In the eighth inning, Moon Seung-won gave up a hit and a walk to Kim Hyun-joon and Kim Ji-chan, putting runners on first and second with no outs. This is where the SSG bench came into play. Closer Seo Jin-yong came up.
It was more of an inevitability. Starter Kirk McCarty lasted just 2.1 innings before being pulled. He was followed by Noh Kyung-eun for 2.2 innings, Ko Hyo-joon for 0.2 innings, and Moon Seung-won for 1.1 innings. With all the pitchers out, only the “last man standing” Seo Jin-yong remained.
The result: 2 innings of 2 hits, 1 walk, and no runs. In the bottom of the eighth, he walked Guzauk and induced Jose Pirela to fly out. End of inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, two singles put runners on first and second with no outs. Again, no runs scored. Kim Dong-jin induced a fielder’s choice to second base, keeping the runner at third. Ryu Ji-hyuk grounded out to second.
With two outs, Kim Sung-yoon hit a hard grounder to the pitcher, which Seo Jin-yong caught directly. It was a straight hit to the pitcher and the game was over. Jinyong Seo earned his 27th save of the season. It was a six-out save.
“It was a one-run game, and we didn’t have any other pitchers. The plan was to bring up Seo Jin-yong in the bottom of the eighth inning. I trusted him. Instead, I put my heart down. I didn’t want to give up a run,” he laughed.
“Pitchers practice a lot in camp to handle hard-hit pitches. But in a real game, it takes reflexes to catch it like that. It happens in an instant. Seo Jinyong had good reflexes,” he smiled.
Seo will be on the bench for this game. He had pitched two innings the day before, but only 25 pitches. At the same time, Noh Kyung-eun is also waiting. It would be her third straight game, but she was determined.온라인바카
Coach Kim Won-hyung said, “Seo Jin-yong is on standby today. Go Hyo-joon and Moon Seung-won can’t play. Noh Kyung-eun said she was fine. If yesterday was bad, I would have told her to rest. He pitched well. It’s a three-game streak, so I’m keeping him on the bench just in case.”