“There is no comparison between then and now,” said
Lotte Giants Koo Seung-min in the 11th game away match of the season between the teams and the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League held at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 31st of last month. He went on the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning and pitched 11 pitches, struck out 1, and allowed no runs in 1 inning.스포츠토토
He was a no-frills pitcher. Koo Seung-min came on the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning with Lotte ahead 5-2, and after a 6-pitch battle with leadoff hitter Noh Si-hwan, he started the inning by striking out a 133km slider. After catching Chae Eun-seong with a fly ball to center field, he returned Lee Jin-young with a grounder to third base and cleanly finished. After shutting out one inning, the baton was passed to Kim Won-joong.
Koo Seung-min, who recently achieved 100 holds in his personal career, achieved the second ‘feat’ in KBO League history by appearing on the mound against Hanwha on the 31st of last month. Previously, the only player to record 20 holds for four consecutive years was Ji-man Ahn (former Samsung Lions, 2012-2015), but Koo Seung-min became the second player to join the list in KBO League history.
20 holds for 4 years in a row. It may not seem special, but it is a very valuable record. It can be seen just by looking at the fact that Ahn Ji-man was the only one until Koo Seung-min achieved this. Currently, the only player who can challenge 20 holds for four consecutive years is Jung Woo-young (LG Twins, currently 11 holds), but there is a very high possibility that he will not achieve the record. Not only was he unable to accumulate many holds due to a sluggish start to the season, but he was also selected as a member of the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) national team and was inevitably forced to take a gap year.
So far, there is not a single player in the KBO league who has achieved 20 holds for 5 consecutive years. Ahn Ji-man, who set the record for four consecutive years earlier than Koo Seung-min, took off his active uniform after recording 2 wins, 5 losses, 5 holds, 5 saves, and an ERA of 5.79 in 2016, when he attempted to set the record for 5 consecutive years. A record that only Koo Seung-min can challenge at this point. After the 2024 season, he is sure of his motivation as he will be eligible as a free agent (FA).
How did Acting Manager Lee Jong-woon, who gave Koo Seung-min a chance when he took over as head coach in 2015, when he had played only one first-team game since wearing the Lotte uniform, view his 20-hold record for four consecutive years? Acting manager Lee Jong-woon gave a thumbs up ahead of the Doosan game on the 1st, saying, “It is a great record that is meaningful to me and the team. Having this record will give me more confidence in future games.”
In 2015, how has Guseung and the present changed in his ‘Rookie’ days? Acting manager Lee Jong-woon said, “At that time, I was young, and now I have grown up and become a solid player. At first, no matter how good my skills were, there were some parts that were not polished. There is no comparison between then and now,” and “I couldn’t foresee the future. “In the case of Koo Seung-min, I think he has these results because he is a player who is very sincere and takes good care of himself,” he said with a happy smile.
At this point, Koo Seung-min has become one of the best ‘set-up men’ in the KBO League, but in 2015, Koo Seung-min was known as the pitcher who allowed his 400th career home run to Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop, who was called the ‘national hitter’. Coach Lee Jong-woon said, “Even if he has the same potential, if he loses confidence, his skills cannot improve. However, Koo Seung-min thinks that such a process has given him stronger durability.”
Koo Seung-min, who set a record of 20 holds for four consecutive years on the 31st of last month, said, “When I look back on the past four years, I feel proud first. And more than anything, I was able to make this record because of the team. Managers and coaches. “Thanks to this help and the concentration of the fielders, I was able to naturally maintain my record. Rather than thinking about the next record, I want to become a mid-level pitcher who can help the team without getting sick and healthy next year,” he said. I didn’t say anything about the record.
However, he said, “There is still a chance. Now that the losing streak has ended, I will use this opportunity to focus more and play games where I can win each game. I sincerely thank the fans for their unwavering support. I will not forget and work hard for the rest of the season.” However, he added that he would do his best to advance to the postseason. It remains to be seen whether Koo Seung-min’s efforts, which are only looking at the ‘present’ rather than the ‘distant future’, will bear fruit.