SSG Landers pitcher Park Jong-hoon was removed from the mound after just 3⅓ innings as he faced unexpected variables. But the pitching wasn’t bad.

Park Jong-hoon started the first game of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League against the LG Twins at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 19, allowing one run on two hits and one walk while striking out six in 3⅓ innings. He throws 61 pitches, with a fastball (28), curveball (20), two-seam (12), and changeup (1). His fastball topped out at 138 km/h.

After a scoreless first and second inning, Jong-hoon was shaken up in the top of the third. After a leadoff single by Heo Do-hwan and a grounder by Shin Min-jae, a throwing error by Lee Ji-young on Shin’s attempted steal at first base put runners on first and third. Hong Chang-ki struck out swinging, but Moon Sung-joo’s double was not enough to prevent Shin from scoring from third. Park Jong-hoon and SSG had to take solace in the fact that the next batter, Kim Hyun-soo, grounded out to end the inning without further damage.

The change came in the top of the fourth inning. Park Jong-hoon was hit by a hard hit by leadoff hitter Austin, and after throwing the ball to first base for the out, he complained of pain in his back. The SSG bench immediately replaced Park after checking him out with a trainer and brought in left-hander Han Hoo-sol to pitch. It was not a major injury. “I could have thrown more, but I went down (for protection),” Park explained to reporters after the game.

Before the second game against LG was canceled due to rain on the 20th, SSG manager Lee Sung-yong said, “I could see that (Park) Jong-hoon was finding his form on the mound, and it was a shame that he had to go down early,” adding, “He’s getting better and better. As a manager, I’m a little bit relieved, and I think it’s a little bit easier to calculate now.”

“We still need to see a few more games, but I think he pitched steady from the beginning and I think he’ll get better because he’s starting to understand what he needs to do on the mound,” the manager said.

The coach believes that the automated pitch judgment system (ABS) will be a big help for Jong-hoon. “The umpires told me that Jong-hoon would benefit the most from ABS. They said that underhanded pitchers don’t usually call low pitches for strikes, but when they come up from under, it’s called a strike in the ABS zone. I think he saw the effect of that yesterday (Sept. 19), and I think he’s getting the feel for it, so I think he pitched confidently. His aggressiveness was also good.”

“If Jong-hoon didn’t get hit by a pitch, I think it would have been a good result, and if he hit a little more in the first inning, I think our team would have gained momentum, but it’s a bit unfortunate. You can’t always hit well,” he said.

Song Young-jin, who pitched as the third pitcher behind starters Park Jong-hoon and Han Doo-sol in the 19th game, was removed from the first team roster on Tuesday, while pitcher Park Min-ho was 토토사이트 added to the first team roster for the first time since the start of the season. “He pitched a lot of innings the day before, and I wanted him to go the distance, so I called up (Park) Min-ho, (Choi) Min-joon, and (Young-jin) Young-jin,” Lee said.

If the game had been played normally, SSG would have fielded the following lineup: Choi Ji-hoon (center field)-Kim Sung-hyun (third base)-Guillermo Heredia (left field)-Han Yoo-seom (designated hitter)-Ko Myung-joon (first base)-Ha Jae-hoon (right field)-Park Sung-han (shortstop)-Lee Ji-young (catcher)-Park Ji-hwan (second base). Choi, who was diagnosed with a simple bruise on his left rib, is in better shape than he was on the 19th, but will need more time to fully recover.

Kim Kwang-hyun is likely to start Game 1 of the doubleheader, while Oh Won-seok, who was expected to start on the 20th, will start Game 2.

Meanwhile, SSG will call up Seo Jin-yong to the first team on the 21st. Lee said, “There is a player I was thinking of calling up to the first team for the doubleheader on the 21st. I’m going to call up (Seo) Jin-yong once. He played eight or nine games in the second team and pitched multi-inning games. I call it a slow start, but I haven’t seen him pitch in a full game yet, so I’m going to give him time, but maybe pitching in the second team is different from pitching in the first team, and if he concentrates a little more, his velocity will increase. That’s what I think, and that’s what the coaching staff thinks.”


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