‘Two saves, two no-hitters’: Shortstop-turned-pitcher fills the void left by saves king Ko Woo-seok

September 22, 2023 | by

LG pitcher Baek Seung-hyun stepped up to the plate with a clutch save. He is expected to be LG’s backstop while closer Ko Woo-seok is competing for the Hangzhou Asian Games.

Baek Seung-hyun took the mound with the bases loaded in the eighth inning of a 2-0 game against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Nov. 21. After Yoo Young-chan singled, doubled, and walked to load the bases, the LG bench switched pitchers to Baek Seung-hyun.

The first batter, Park Sung-hyun, hit a hard pitch down the first base line that hit the first baseman’s body and stopped behind the first base. The umpires called it fair, and LG requested a video review, but it was upheld.

The umpires ruled Han Yoo-seom out because he was stepping on the first base instead of running to second base when the umpire called a foul.

The KBO explained, “The ball hit the umpire’s body and became an in-play situation. Even if the umpire had declared fair immediately, Han would not have gotten to second base, so he was called out.”

SSG coach Kim Won-hyung loudly protested the call, but the call was not changed. The game was stopped for about 20 minutes due to the video review and SSG’s protest.

In the resumed game, Baek remained focused. With runners on first and third and two outs, he threw five straight sliders against Oh. In a two-pitch, two-strike situation, he got a five-pitch grounder to second base to end the threat.

Baek Seung-hyun remained on the mound in the bottom of the ninth. Closer Ko Woo-seok came in with the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning of a 4-3 win over the Gwangju Kia on Sept. 19 to record his first career two-inning save.

In his second multi-inning appearance of the season, Baek Seung-hyun got leadoff hitter Choi Ji-hoon to fly out to center field and walked pinch-hitter Kim Kang-min.

He started the inning with a two-ball against Choi and fouled off a 145-kilometer fastball to the third baseman at 2B-2S for the second out. He got Shin-Soo Choo to ground out to second base on a three-pitch, 147-mph fastball. Preserved the 2-1 lead and earned his second save.

Baek Seung-hyun recorded his first career save with two outs on June 14 at Samsung Electronics. With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the ninth inning with a 3-2 lead, he struck out Kang Min-ho and got Kim Dong-yeop to fly out to shortstop to preserve the win. With the bases loaded and no outs, he recorded his first professional save. Earned his second save by pitching a multi-inning shutout with the bases loaded.

After joining the LG in the third round of the 2015 draft (30th overall), Seung-hyun Baek developed as a shortstop prospect, but made the switch to pitching during the 2020 season. He started pitching in the 2021 season, and this is his third year. He has grown into a must-win pitcher and is trusted by Yeom to serve as the closer during Go Woo-seok’s absence.

“Myung-geun (Park) needs to step up a bit more,” Yeom said. Myeong-geun-i, (Baek) Seung-hyun, (Kim) Jin-sung, and (Yoo) Young-chan will be the core bullpen during the Asian Games,” Yeom said.

Baek is 1-0 with two saves and a 1.95 ERA in three appearances this season. In September, he has pitched well in nine games (nine innings) with four saves and a 1.00 ERA. 메이저사이트

With left-hander Ham Deok-ju no longer able to pitch in the regular season due to elbow inflammation, Baek Seung-hyun’s shoulders are heavy in the bullpen. Park Myung-geun and Yoo Young-chan are showing some signs of fatigue, while veteran Kim Jin-sung has appeared in 70 games this season, the most in the league.


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