Hold, hold, save.
KIA ‘Madangsoe right-hander’ Jang Hyeon-sik (28) made a surprise first-team comeback ahead of the Gwangju Samsung match on the 23rd. And he was immediately put into the winning pitching group. He took the mound as the fourth pitcher in the top of the 8th inning, leading 5-3, and passed the baton to Jung Hae-young, who finished with 1 hit and no runs in 1 inning. First hold of the season as KIA won 5-3.
Hyunsik Jang underwent an elbow bone fragment removal surgery in October 2022. It is true that he was overdoing it during his previous coaching days, and even after Kim Jong-guk took over as coach, he fell into health issues once in the first half and second half. In early March, he said, “I decided to have surgery at the end of the season and played” after finishing the spring camp in Okinawa.
1 win, 5 losses, 1 save, 34 holds, ERA of 3.29 in 69 games in 2021, 2 wins, 3 losses, 1 save, 19 holds, ERA of 3.12 in 54 games in 2022. Jang Hyun-sik’s slider + splitter is evaluated as sharper than his fastball. Based on the baseball statistics site Statties, the 2022 season slider hit rate was 0.178 and splitter hit rate was 0.214. Even in the game on the 23rd, his fastball shot in the second half of the 140km range.
On this day, the KIA bullpen continued with Jeon Sang-hyun (⅓ innings, 1 run), Kim Dae-yu (⅓ innings scoreless), Jang Hyeon-sik (1 innings scoreless), and Jeong Hae-young (1 inning scoreless) from the 7th inning with one out, leading 4-2. It was the first match this season in which Triple J kept a close lead and completed the team victory메이저놀이터.
Jang Hyun-sik may have a hard time fighting for the time being. There is also a possibility that director Kim Jong-kook will intentionally and carefully manage it. Although it is a bone fragment removal, the KIA bullpen is not urgent enough to be used excessively. This is because Lee Jun-young, Kim Dae-yu, Kim Ki-hoon, and Choi Ji-min can hold the center with their left hand Pilseungjo. Kim Dae-yu had ups and downs at the beginning of the season, but has not conceded a goal in the last two games in a row.
Even so, the past month without Hyunsik Jang was also a time to confirm the weight of Triple J. After rookie Kwak Do-gyu left early, the left-handed bullpen continued to show its presence after the season began. However, in terms of structure, the right-handed bullpen was essential, and Jeon Sang-hyun took over that role. With Jang Hyun-sik joining, Jeon Sang-hyun was able to reduce the burden. Although he was slightly sluggish in the game on the 23rd, he still had an ERA of 2.35 with 4 holds in 10 games.
Coincidentally, Jung Hae-young, who was an extremely poor finisher at the beginning of the season, has not conceded a goal in the last 5 games in a row. 1 win, 1 loss, 2 saves in 9 games, ERA 4.15. It is only now that Triple J and the left-handed pitcher can properly harmonize. Perhaps it is possible to operate with little distinction between the winning team and the pursuing team. A comfortable 9:00 baseball game is expected.
KIA ranked 4th with an average ERA of 4.15 in the bullpen based on Stats until the 23rd. Even though Hae-Young Jung and Dae-Yoo Kim had major collapses, their competitiveness is still the same. There are only things left to improve in the future. In the summer when the temperature rises, there is a high possibility that the power of the KIA bullpen with thick depth will be demonstrated. It is expected to be a great driving force for the team aiming for a mid-level jump.