The Kiwoom Heroes have found something valuable in their losing streak. It is the growth of Jang Jae-young.
Jang Jae-young made his first quality start of the season against the LG Twins in the 13th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on 11 November, giving up three runs on four hits (one home run) in six innings with three strikeouts.안전놀이터
Jang Jae-young pitched steady from the first to the fourth inning to keep the scoreless streak alive. Although he gave up three runs in the fifth inning, including a solo shot by Moon Bo-kyung, Jang fulfilled his role as a starter by shutting down the sixth inning. It was a far cry from his previous performance, when he struggled to complete five innings. The team lost 3-5, but Jang did his part.
His manager, who watched from the dugout, was also satisfied. “Jang Jae-young pitched his best game this year, or since his debut,” said Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki before the game against LG on the 12th. It was what we were hoping for,” he said.
“We prepared him last year, but he didn’t do well after the opening day, so he had a rebuilding time in the second team, and we planned to gradually increase his innings in order as we thought he had improved,” Hong said. “He didn’t do well against the Samsung Lions in Gocheok on the 30th, but after that, he made two relief appearances in the jamsil, so he felt like he was resetting his pace. For him, it’s not about how many innings he throws, but when he’s feeling good, he keeps going, and it’s just a matter of taking those steps.”
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the bench, especially in the fifth inning when the big inning came, but Hong said, “You have to grow as a starter, and you have to go through those difficulties. On the 11th, I thought he was at his best, so I kept him in the game, and I didn’t think there was anyone else in the bullpen who was better than him when our bullpen kept giving up runs. I thought it was the best way to keep pushing until the end even if we gave up runs,” he said, explaining why he trusted Jang Jae-young.
Meanwhile, Kiwoom lined up in the following order: Kim Jun-wan (left fielder), Kim Hye-sung (second baseman), Ronnie Dawson (designated hitter), Song Sung-moon (first baseman), Kim Hui-jip (shortstop), Lee Joo-hyung (centre fielder), Lim Byung-wook (right fielder), Kim Tae-jin (third baseman), and Kim Dong-heon (catcher). Ian McKinney is the starting pitcher.