‘Heavy duty’ role gives way to blown save, but commander still says “Young Chan-ki will have gained a lot”

August 5, 2023 0 Comments

As the LG Twins’ closer, Yoo Young-chan’s shoulders have never been heavier, and while his blown save ultimately cost the team the lead, his manager believes the experience will help him in his debut season.

Yoo made a relief appearance in the 10th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Samsung Lions at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on April 4, pitching ⅓ inning of scoreless relief.

Yoo was called upon with runners on second and third in the bottom of the eighth inning with his team leading 4-3 and headed to the mound. Prior to the game, LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop had announced that he would use Yoo in the closer’s role in place of Ko Woo-seok, who was unable to pitch due to back-to-back struggles. Although Yoo was called upon to put out the immediate fire, he was actually tasked with a four-out save.

With a 1-0 count, Yoo got two strikes on a foul and a wild swing to get a favorable pitch count, but pitches four and five were out of the strike zone, and the slider he chose for pitch six was right down the middle. Kang Min-ho took advantage of it and smashed a two-run double to right-center field, giving Samsung a 5-4 lead and a one-run victory. A throwing error led to a long ball and a comeback.

Before the game against Samsung on May 5, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “I was actually thinking a lot about whether to go for the automatic go-four, but I remembered how Baek Seung-hyun struck out Kang Min-ho with a slider when he was facing a full count in a crucial situation. I wasn’t trying to win the game, I was just trying to get him to throw it away, and it went up the middle. It was a game-winner.”

For the season, Yoo is 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA in 38 games and 41⅔ innings pitched. Considering it’s his first season in the first team, this is more than expected. LG has been able to survive the early-season struggles of its main bullpen pitchers thanks to the performance of “new faces” like Yoo Young-chan.메이저놀이터

“It was his first season in the first team and his first time in such a situation, so it was an experience for him,” said Yeom Kyung-yeop. “We lost the game, but it will be a great experience. He will not make repeated mistakes in such a situation, so a young player will grow through such a game, and I think he will gain a lot from it.” Yongyup encouraged Yoo.

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