The priority is to enter the normal track rather than achieving a great record. This is the story of KIA Tigers ace Yang Hyeon-jong (35).
Yang Hyeon-jong will start as a starting pitcher in the home game against Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 KBO League at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on the 15th. His shoulders are heavy because KIA is in a sluggish situation with only 1 win (1 draw and 3 losses) in the last 5 matches.
It is also a very important match for me personally. In the second half, Yang Hyeon-jong’s pace dropped significantly. On the 27th of last month, against the NC Dinos (4 runs in 5 2/3 innings) and against the Samsung Lions on the 2nd (5 innings, 3 runs), the performance was mediocre. However, there is a problem from the fact that Yang Hyeon-jong, who considers inning digestion the most important, failed to fill 6 innings. Even after starting against the KT Wiz on June 24, he failed to block more than 6 innings in 5 consecutive games.
His most recent start, against the LG Twins in Jamsil on the 8th, was a no-game in rainy weather and the record disappeared. Yang Hyeon-jong was sluggish in this game, recording 9 hits and 8 runs (6 earned runs) in 2 innings. For Yang Hyeon-jong, no game could not be a comfort.
He also collapsed with 9 runs in 2 innings against the Busan Lotte Giants on June 2nd. It was the personal career ‘most goals conceded in one game’. It was his worst pitch in 16 years of his debut. This match against Lotte attracted more attention because it was a hunting game right after he achieved a splendid feat by winning his 162nd overall win against LG on May 27 and rising to the top spot in history alone in this category. In the very next game, Yang Hyeon-jong also scored 7 runs in 4 and 1/3 innings.
In fact, there are three appearances where he gave up 7 or more runs in one game. It is a performance that is not like league representative pitcher Yang Hyeon-jong. Although it is not a situation where it is easy to sprinkle a four-seam fastball (fastball) in the second half of 140 km / h as before, at an age beyond the mid-30s, it is Yang Hyeon-jong who showed the dignity of a veteran with his unique ability to control the speed.
Kiwoom is a team that is on the decline with 13 losses (1 draw and 1 loss) in the last 15 matches. Signature hitter Lee Jung-hoo left due to injury, and ‘former’ native ace Choi Won-tae moved to LG, and his performance dropped sharply.
Yang Hyeon-jong cannot be careless. Kim Hye-seong, Ronnie Dawson, and Lee Joo-hyung have a good sense of hitting. Above all, his condition is not normal.
Yang Hyeon-jong is about to achieve another great record. The all-time record for most starts. Song Jin-woo, former coach of the Hanwha Eagles, holds the record for most wins (including rescue wins) with 163 wins. Yang Hyeon-jong, who has 164 wins in his career, has 162 wins in starting matches. If you add 1 win, you will stand shoulder to shoulder with Song Jin-woo. 메이저놀이터
In the first two appearances of the second half, this issue received more attention. However, the situation is different in Kiwoom. Regardless of win or loss, the most important thing is to make a quality start (less than 3 earned runs over 6 innings). First of all, in the second half, the most innings and the least number of runs must be taken.
KIA is currently competing to enter the top 5. Considering the pitching ups and downs of young starting pitchers, Yang Hyeon-jong should hold the center. The match against Kiwoom on the 15th is expected to be the most important pitch for Yang Hyeon-jong this season.