“I did it by force”.
KIA Tigers closer Jung Hae-young (21) has made a significant mark in a difficult season. He became the first pitcher in Tiger history to reach the 20-save plateau for three consecutive years.
The right-hander pitched the final inning of Game 15 against the Samsung Lions at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Aug. 8 to preserve the win and earn his 20th save of the season.
It was a tough situation in the top of the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead. The leadoff hitter, Pirela, was hit by a pitch that fell just short of the second baseman. Lee Jae-hyun hit a grounder to first base for the second out.
Kim Hyun-joon then hit a hard pitch that rolled in front of the second baseman. Second baseman Choi Jeong-yong hit a grounder, but the tall first baseman Oh Sun-woo made a tough catch in the corner for the second out. Pinch-hitter Oh Jae-il fought hard and grounded out to short.
When Kim Dong-young came to the plate, he was shaken up by back-to-back walks, but he managed to get a strong fastball to the side of his body and induce a foul fly to the third baseman. Kim made a good catch on the tricky pitch to secure the save.
In 2021, Jeong collected 34 saves, surpassing the record of legendary Sun Dong-yeol (33 saves) and tying Lim Chang-yong for the most saves in a season. In 2022, he became the youngest player to reach the 30-save plateau for two consecutive seasons with 33 saves. He followed that up with 20 saves, a franchise record.
His streak was interrupted when Lim Chang-yong moved to Samsung after the 1999 season. He didn’t reach 20 saves for three consecutive years, but Jung Hae-young set the record. It’s especially meaningful this year, as he had a tough time getting saves until the middle of the season, when he was sent down to the second team.
Still, she is not satisfied with her current form. After the game, Jung said, “I didn’t make a clean save. I made an aggressive save. I would have felt better and been more proud if I could have made a three-hit shutout. The defenders helped me,” she sighed.스포츠토토
“I keep making saves, but to be honest, there are only a few that I’m happy with. In this long tour (12 games), I’ve been very good. Today, I wasn’t happy. I need to reduce the ups and downs a lot. When the ball was good, it was good. Sometimes the ball is bad and I make a save. I’ll just think about the result to finish the game.”
“I was happy that we didn’t score, but I think the bench and the crowd were watching with a lot of anxiety. We need to be comfortable and defend well. It’s the end of the season, but we’ll keep it up and start anew when it’s over. We haven’t given up on fall baseball, and we will try to win as many games as we can together.”