“I have Woo-seok, Jung-yong, and Woo-young….”
LG rookie Park Myung-geun is perfecting his substitute closing duties. In the ninth inning of a 5-3 loss to KIA in Gwangju on Nov. 26, he came on in relief with the bases loaded and one out and earned the save despite giving up a single hit. With runners on first and second in the ninth, he faced left-handed hitter Ko Jong-wook and struck him out swinging with a 147-kilometer per hour fastball. He got one out and his fourth save of the season.
It wasn’t a perfect start. LG coach Yeom Kyung-yup had been eyeing Park since he was the technical chairman of the Asian Games, but had envisioned him as a long reliever or fifth starter. But as the pitchers in the closer’s group were sidelined one by one due to poor performance and injuries, Park was given the opportunity to close. It was also a big factor that Park quickly adapted to the KBO and showed stability.
Starting with his first save against the NC on May 3, he has two holds and four saves in his last 10 games with a 1.00 ERA. LG has been able to rely on Park Myung-geun and Ham Deok-ju (three saves) to help ease closing worries while Go Woo-seok has been sidelined with shoulder and then back injuries.
After the game on the 26th, Park Myung-geun said, “Honestly, I didn’t expect to build up a record this early on. (Go) Woo-seok, (Lee) Jung-yong, and (Chung) Woo-young were all there, so I was just grateful to go out there. I’m thankful that I got this opportunity and that the manager actively used me, so I think I’m building my record like this.”토토사이트
At the start of the ninth inning, it was 5-1, a four-run deficit. It was not a situation where Park Myung-geun, who had already appeared against SSG on the 25th, had to come out, but the bullpen was busy as KIA scored two more runs. “I wasn’t too worried about the situation with the bases loaded, but (Yoo) Young-chan still had a runner on base, so I threw with the mindset of not letting him in as much as possible,” Park said.
The first batter he faced, Kim Sun-bin, singled, and a long ball could have tied the game, or even turned it into an upset. “I wasn’t nervous when I first went up there, but after I got hit, I realized I needed to focus,” Park recalled.