“First time the club has won 10 games in three consecutive years” Ko Young-pyo “Winning? It’s not all about me… Please look at the more interesting records”
KT WIZ “homegrown ace” pitcher Ko Young-pyo has reached 10 wins for the first time in franchise history for three consecutive years. After leading the team’s upswing since June with a 10-game streak of quality starts, Ko now turns his attention to the fall.
On Aug. 6 against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil, Ko pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, striking out five and walking one in a 3-1 win.
On that day, KT sent out a starting batting order of Kim Min-hyuk (right fielder), Lee Ho-yeon (second baseman), Hwang Jae-gyun (third baseman), Park Byung-ho (designated hitter), Alford (left fielder), Kim Sang-soo (shortstop), Kim Jun-tae (catcher), Oh Yun-seok (first baseman), and Bae Jeong-dae (center fielder).
KT struck first in the first inning. KT opened the scoring in the top of the first when Hwang Jae-gyun singled up the middle with runners on first and second after a leadoff walk to Kim Min-hyuk and a single to right by Lee Ho-yeon. With runners on first and third, Alford’s grounder to the pitcher allowed Lee to score from third.
In the bottom of the inning, Ko Young-pyo got leadoff hitter Jung Soo-bin to ground out to second and then gave up a single to right to pinch hitter Kim Jae-ho. However, he retired Rojas and Kim Jae-hwan on a fly ball to right field and a swinging strikeout, respectively, to keep things fresh.
He continued to showcase his crisis management skills in each inning. He struck out Kang Seung-ho and Jang Seung-hyun with runners on first and second in the bottom of the second inning. With runners on first and second in the bottom of the third, he got Kim Jae-ho and Rojas to fly out, and in the bottom of the fifth, he got out of a bases-loaded jam with a swinging strikeout, a grounder to first base, and a straight line drive to second base.
The first run came in the sixth inning. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Rojas hit a double to right field. With runners on second and third, Ko gave up the first run of the game on a wild pitch.
KT added a valuable insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on a double by Bae Jae-dae, a walk to Bock and a sacrifice fly to left field by Kim Min-hyuk.
Ko Young-pyo took the mound in the bottom of the seventh and looked to improve his quality start. With runners on first and third after a walk and a hit, Ko got Jung Soo-bin to fly out to left field to end the inning. It was his 14th quality start of the season, breaking his previous single-season record of 13 in 2022.
On the day, Ko threw 75 strikes out of a total of 103 pitches. He used a mix of changeups (44) and curves (15), centered around his fastball that topped out at 140 km/h (43), to completely dominate the Doosan lineup.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said after the game, “Congratulations to Ko Young-pyo for achieving double-digit wins in three consecutive starts for the first time in the franchise. He pitched like an ace and showed good pitching and crisis management skills against the opposing bats. Catcher Kim Jun-tae, who also struggled, helped the pitcher with good ball placement.”
Speaking to the media after the game, Ko Young-pyo said, “It’s the first time the club has won 10 games in three consecutive years, but I wasn’t too conscious of it. I think if I pitch well, the wins will come. Of course, I’m always conscious of my quality starts. It’s my job to pitch a lot of innings with fewer hits. I don’t think I’ve achieved 10 wins solely on my own merit. There are more interesting records than 10 wins, so I hope the fans will look at innings pitched, strikeout-to-walk ratio, etc. and recognize me more in this way.”
KT stabilized its starting lineup around Ko Young-pyo and eventually climbed to fourth place in the league 안전놀이터.
“At the beginning of the season, we had a lot of injuries, so we didn’t show our best performance as KT. Everyone focused on each game without thinking about the ranking, and we came this far. Now, if you look at our starting lineup, there is an image that if you can’t play six innings, you’re not good. I tell them that I made them that way, but I think they’re competing with each other and showing good synergy. In my mind, the goal is definitely first place.”