“Because I have Wooseok, Jungyong, and Wooyoung….”
LG rookie Park Myung-geun is perfecting his substitute finishing duties. On the 26th against KIA in Gwangju, he came in to save the day with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning, trailing 5-3, and gave up just one hit to earn the save. 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-kilometre-per-hour fastball. He got one out and his fourth save of the season.메이저놀이터
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 lost one by one due to poor performance and injury, 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 3 May, 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 ease closing worries even as 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 so early on. I had (Ko) Woo-seok, (Lee) Jung-yong, and (Chung) Woo-young, so I was just grateful to go out there. I’m grateful that I got this opportunity and that the coach actively used me, so I think I’m building my record like this.”
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 pitched with the mindset of not letting him in as much as possible,” Park said.
The first batter he faced, Kim Sun-bin, was hit by a pitch and a long ball could have tied the game, or even turned it into an upset. “When I first went up there, I wasn’t nervous, but after I got hit, I realised I needed to focus,” Park said.