Kia 22-year-old closer sows 147 kilometers of his own blood…wrecking balls, badgering, sleepless ‘last night of September’
They pitched 147 kilometers of hard work…
KIA manager Kim Jong-kook praised the efforts of his bullpen during the midweek four-game series against NC. It’s true that KIA’s bullpen deteriorated in the second half of the season. The bullpen struggled to find energy due to the starters’ inability to digest innings from the end of the first half.
Lim Ki-young, a pure bullpen starter, slowed down in September, and Choi Ji-min, who had been perfect since August, was sent to the Hangzhou Asian Games. Jeon Sang-hyun has stepped up, but it’s hard to revitalize a shaky bullpen on his own.
Closer Jung Hae-young has been good overall after overcoming early season balance issues. However, he hasn’t regained the consistency he had last year. Manager Kim Jong-kook has said that he would like to see Jung reduce his walk rate, as he has been doing a good job.
Excluding the game against SSG in Incheon on the 30th, his BABIP is 0.349, which is higher than last year’s 0.308, according to baseball statistics site Statiz. His WHIP was 1.29 last year and 1.50 this season. The slight increase in his ERA from 3.38 last year to 3.48 this year can be attributed to this.
For Jung, the game against SSG in Incheon on the 30th was a disappointment. He came on in the top of the ninth inning and retired the next two batters, but was overwhelmed in the 10th. He threw a forkball to the leadoff batter, Oh Tae-gon, who hit a double down the left-field line. His failure to handle Kim Kang-min’s subsequent bunt proved to be the difference in the game 스포츠토토.
Jung Hae-young opted for a two-pitch 144-meter fastball at 1B. Kim Kang-min intentionally hit a bunt toward third base. It was a tricky pitch for Jung to catch out of bounds, but she was able to stay calm after the first out.
Here, Jung fumbled again. She calmly caught the ball, but this time, the pitch wobbled and became a bad pitch. With runners on first and third, the pressure was on, but Jung struck out Choi Hang and Ha Jae-hoon in succession. He threw a 147-kilometer fastball to Choi Hang, who finally got the final out on a slider to Kim Sung-hyun up the middle.
Despite the outcome, it was a game that showed the value of defense for Jung, as he would have had no reason to face Kim if he had only dealt with Kim Kang-min. Moreover, this game and the game against SSG in Incheon on the 1st of next month are crucial for the team to move up to 5th place. It’s the last night of September, and it’s going to be a sleepless night for Jung Hae-young. KIA is now 1.5 games behind SSG. They need to take the match on the 1st of next month to keep their top 5 hopes alive.