“Starting from today (the 16th), I hope to compete head-to-head and overpower the opponent.”
KIA Tigers coach Kim Jong-guk met with reporters at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on the 16th and left some kind words to closing pitcher Jeong Hae-young (22). Haeyoung Jeong took the mound in the top of the 9th inning against the Gwangju Doosan Bears, 6-6 on the 15th, and took the loss by allowing only 2 runs, 1 hit, 3 walks, 3 walks, and 1 strikeout in ⅓ innings.스포츠토토
The process itself was bad. Jeong Hae-young did well to cut his first tape by striking out the leadoff hitter, No. 4 batter Yang Eui-ji, with a missed swing. However, he brought on a crisis by walking the next batter, Jose Rojas. With 1 out and runner on first base, Kang Seung-ho got on base with an infield hit in front of the pitcher, putting the runners on 1st and 2nd base with 1 out, and Doosan showed its determination to somehow turn the game around by replacing second base runner Rojas with fast-footed pinch runner Yu-chan Lee.
From this point on, Jeong Hae-young was unable to throw his own ball and only threw his own ball one after another. In the end, Heo Gyeong-min was sent out with a walk, putting the bases loaded with one out, and pinch hitter Kim In-tae was allowed to walk, making the score 6-7.
Coach Kim had no choice but to replace Jung Hae-young, who was shaky after only recording three walks. Even pitcher Jang Hyun-sik, who was replaced, allowed a walk to Park Jun-young in the ensuing crisis with bases loaded with one out, resulting in a 6-8 loss.
Coach Kim said, “(Jung Hae-young should have stuck with the batters), but I could see that he was just trying to make things difficult. It seems like he was just trying not to get hit. That’s a little disappointing. Starting today, we have to compete head-on again and overpower the opponent. I’m a fan of all-hitting Yuna.” “I should have been able to strike out, but that’s a little disappointing,” he confessed.
Because it was a pitch that was uncharacteristic of Jeong Hae-young, Coach Kim had no choice but to criticize it. Hae-young Jeong is a promising player who graduated from Jeil High School in Gwangju and joined KIA as the first draft pick in 2020, and has attracted attention by recording 5 wins and 11 holds since his debut season. Starting with the 2021 season, he took on closer duties in earnest and developed into a closing pitcher representing KIA.
Haeyoung Jeong, in his fourth year as a professional, has recorded 82 career saves. He recorded 34 saves in 2021 and 32 saves in 2021, becoming a top closing pitcher in the league. Haeyoung Jeong achieved 30 saves for two consecutive seasons at the age of 21 years, 1 month and 1 day, becoming the youngest player ever to win the title. His previous youngest record was Lim Chang-yong’s age of 23 years, 2 months and 7 days. He also became the first pitcher in Tigers history to reach 30 saves in two consecutive seasons.
But this year was full of ups and downs. He had 3 wins, 3 losses, 15 saves, 1 hold, 37⅔ innings, and a 3.58 earned run average in 41 games. At the end of May, he was expunged from the 1st team entry, so he spent more than a month in the 2nd team and spent time reorganizing. As his velocity and delivery began to suffer, his confidence on the mound plummeted. As his slump continued, it was a shock that he was not selected for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games team, which seemed obvious.
Fortunately, Jung Hae-young seemed to have regained her pace from the end of last month. He made saves in five consecutive games, starting from the Gwangju Hanwha Eagles on the 25th of last month to the Gwangju LG Twins on the 10th, giving a great boost to KIA’s fight for the semifinals. He missed a day in the game on the 15th, but if he quickly regains the stability he showed in the previous game, he could be a help to the KIA bullpen again.
Manager Kim once again said, “It was a little disappointing that we gave up a lot of walks in the 9th inning,” and hoped that even if Jung Hae-young lost, she would fight head-on with the opposing batter to produce results and deliver acceptable pitching.