“I wasn’t thinking about the title…”
Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz) pitched the bottom of the eighth inning against the KIA Tigers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon, South Korea, on April 22 and struck out three to end the KIA bats.
Leading 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth, Park took the mound and struck out the first batter, Choi Hyung-woo. He then threw a changeup to Socrates Brito to induce a fly ball. The shortstop caught it. Two batters later, Lee struck out looking. He induced a swinging strike with a slider in the 0B2S and came off the mound.
Park recorded a hold in the game, giving him his 26th hold of the season. His season record is 56-3-3, 26 holds, 3 saves, 59⅔ innings pitched, 22 runs (20 earned), 3.02 ERA, and 1.14 WHIP.
Park has been consistent in his saves since the beginning of the season. In April and May, he accumulated four holds each. In June and July, he had five. And in August, he’s led the league in holds with eight in 11 appearances. He is seven behind Noh Kyung-eun (SSG Landers) and Koo Seung-min (Lotte Giants), who are tied for second with 19.
Park is the favorite to win the title, but there’s a catch. It’s the Hangzhou Asian Games. Young-hyun was selected to the Asian Games team and has been with the team since mid-September. He wants to accumulate a lot of holds before he leaves the team.
“I didn’t really think about the title, but now that I’ve been through the season, I’m a little greedy,” Park said. “I want to accumulate as many holds as possible before I join the Asian Games team and take a shot at the title.”
“My original goal was to get four holds a month, but in August I already had eight. The team is winning and I want to help, so I’m throwing a little harder and it seems to be paying off.”
Park struggled early in the second half. On July 22, he gave up two runs (two earned) in ⅓ innings against the Daegu Samsung Lions, three runs (three earned) in ⅔ innings against Samsung Electronics on July 23, and two runs (two earned) in one inning against the Suwon LG Twins on July 26. However, he settled down on the 30th against the NC Dinos in Changwon and has been a key part of KT’s bullpen ever since. One of the reasons he was able to break out of his slump was because of advice from Choi Min-joon.
“During that period, I was mentally weakened and went through some bad times, but my pitching brothers said a lot of good things to me. “During the bad period, I was worried about what hadn’t happened, but (So) Hyung-joon said, ‘Don’t think too much about what hasn’t happened and go in with a positive mind,’ and that really stuck with me.” 먹튀검증
KT remained in last place until early June. But then the mound stabilized, injured players returned, and the team surged upward. The team climbed steadily to second place.
“When we were in 10th place, the team’s mood was a little down, but we didn’t feel like we were going to lose as we were climbing up,” said Park Young-hyun. “Even if we lost, we thought we could just take the next game. Staying positive