“Now I just have to get my body to do it.”
Only three pitchers have reached the 40-save plateau from 2013 to 2022. Son Seung-rak (Nexen – 46 saves) in 2013, Oh Seung-hwan 토스카지노(Samsung – 44 saves) in 2021, and Ko Woo-seok (LG – 42 saves) in 2022.
In the entire history of the KBO, only Oh Seung-hwan, Son Seung-rak, Jung Myung-won and Go Woo-seok have reached 40 saves.
It’s a position where the team has to win a lot of games, and the player has to finish with a lot of guts. Another 40-save finisher is on the way this season.
Seo Jin-yong (31-SSG) is 3-2-2 with 34 saves in 51 games this season. Most surprisingly, he recorded his first blown save against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on April 27. He had been the closer for 50 games without a blown save.
Seo’s finishes have been less than stellar. He has the highest WHIP (walks allowed per inning) of any pitcher with 20 or more saves at 1.44. He allows 5.74 walks per game. This means that he allows the most walks per nine innings among closers. SSG manager Kim Won-hyung also pointed out that Seo has a “high WHIP and a high strikeout rate” when talking about his saves.
However, despite his high strikeout rate, his overall delivery is more stable than before, according to Kim’s analysis. “He’s throwing strikes, so he’s making contact with hitters,” Kim said.
The 2023 KBO League game between the LG Twins and SSG Landers was held at SSG Landers Field on the 20th. SSG closer Seo Jin-yong roars after catching Austin at third base with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. Incheon=Choi Moon-young 기자deer@sportschosun.com /2023.08.20/
The 2023 KBO League game between the LG Twins and SSG Landers was held at SSG Landers Field on Aug. 20. SSG closer Seo Jin-yong-go celebrates after securing his team’s 2-1 victory. Incheon=Choi Moon-young 기자deer@sportschosun.com /2023.08.20/
In the past, Seo had a good fastball but struggled with pitches that were well outside the strike zone. This season, however, he has been able to get batters to swing at pitches near the strike zone. Because the ball has so much power, there aren’t many long balls that can change the course of a game.
“I think it’s the same as before, but I’m getting hit by fewer long balls,” Kim said. “Even when I get a hit, I’m not getting a long ball anyway. I’m getting fewer long balls because I have a fastball and a changeup.”
In fact, Seo’s on-base percentage this season is 0.277, and his net on-base percentage, which excludes singles, is just 0.041. Over the past two years, Seo’s batting average has been over 0.360. His on-base percentage is also over 0.100.
Seo needs six more saves to reach 40. After reaching 30 saves, Seo also challenged himself to reach 40 saves. The record for most saves in a season is 47, set by Samsung’s Oh Seung-hwan in 2006.
SSG has 37 games left to play. Even with a 5 percent win rate and a save in half of those games, that’s enough to reach the 40-save plateau.
“I think I should do it if I’m in good shape,” Kim said, “I think 40 saves is for special players. I only need to make six, so I think I can do it.”