‘I hadn’t pitched in three years…’ A day after being called up to the first team, he was sent to the second team, and the manager was cool about it.

August 11, 2023 | by

Kiwoom Heroes head coach Hong Won-ki has expressed his team’s determination to do their best despite the difficult circumstances. However, he also showed a cool head by replacing three first-team starters at once.

The Kiwoom Heroes will open the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away game against the LG Twins at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 11 at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul.

Kiwoom has slipped to the bottom of the league this season with 42 wins, 59 losses, and three ties for a winning percentage of 0.416. LG, on the other hand, is in first place with 58 wins, 35 losses, and two draws. Jang Jae-young started for Kiwoom. Casey Kelly started for LG. Jang is 1-3 with a 5.31 ERA this season, while Kelly is 7-6 with a 4.63 ERA.

Manager Hong Won-ki announced a change to the first team roster ahead of the game. On this day, Kiwoom removed Yang Ji-yul (formerly Yang Ki-hyun), Lee Jong-min, and Kim Gun-hee from the first team roster and called up Kim Jae-woong, Hong Sung-min, and Jeon Byung-woo to the first team.

Kiwoom had also suffered an 8-12 upset loss the previous day (Oct. 10) against archrival Lotte. After 835 days at the bottom of the league, Kiwoom will face LG today. However, the team has a losing record against LG this season with three wins, one draw and eight losses.

“It’s true that bad situations seem to be contagious, and it’s not easy to rebound from them because they keep repeating themselves,” Hong told reporters before the game. “But in times like this, the most important thing I emphasize is ‘stick to the basics,’ and I want to convey the message of ‘do your best to play what you can. ‘ I think it’s best to do your best on the field under the given conditions.” 스포츠토토

Kiwoom is the return of Jeon Byung-woo, who was sidelined with a back injury in April. Kim Jae-woong, who has been a stalwart of the Hero Corps, was also named to the first team roster. In 15 games this season, Jeon batted .125 with one home run, two RBIs, and three runs scored. It’s been about three months since his last game against SSG on May 7. Kim Jae-woong is 1-3 with five saves and a 4.66 ERA in 14 appearances this season. He was given another chance after being removed from the first team roster after the Samsung game on May 28.

Hong said, “In the current situation, we need good players to keep coming up. I received a report that Kim Jae-woong did a good job of rebuilding in the second team. Now he has to prove himself. There are reports that Hong Seong-min has also done well in the second team, so we’ll have to see how he performs in the bullpen in the end.”

The previous day, Kiwoom brought in Yang Ji-yul from the bullpen in the top of the eighth inning with the team trailing 6-9. Upon taking the mound, Yang struck out Kim Min-seok and Ahn Chi-hong in back-to-back at-bats, but then the bullpen went silent. He gave up a walk to Lee Jung-hoon, a single to Gudrum to left-center, and a straight ball to Yoon Dong-hee to load the bases, and then gave up another straight ball to Ahn Kwon-soo. From there, Kiwoom brought up Park Seung-ju and got out of the inning without allowing another run. For Yang Ji-yul, it was his first time on the mound in about three years since August 14, 2020 against Lotte, but he had to swallow his disappointment as his pitcher refused to listen. After being called up to the first team on August 10, he was sent down to the second team a day later.

Hong said of Yang, “I think it was déjà vu with Joo Seung-woo’s situation (in the past nine days). I think it’s both technical and mental that he’s suddenly getting a lot of strikeouts after the second inning. He knows his own problems best. There is a high bar in the first team, and players have to grow. In this team situation, I need to be solid when I get my chance, and then we can plan for this season and next year. I think we need to prepare thoroughly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kiwoom’s starting lineup was Kim Jun-wan (left fielder), Kim Hye-sung (second baseman), Ronnie Dawson (designated hitter), Song Sung-moon (third baseman), Kim Hui-jip (shortstop), Lee Joo-hyung (center fielder), Lim Byung-wook (right fielder), Jeon Byung-woo (first baseman), and Kim Dong-heon (catcher). For LG, Hong Chang-ki (right fielder)-Moon Sung-joo (left fielder)-Kim Hyun-soo (designated hitter)-Austin Dean (first baseman)-Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop)-Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman)-Park Dong-won (catcher)-Kim Min-sung (second baseman)-Park Hae-min (center fielder).


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