Jang-won Seo (31-SSG Landers) will attempt to set a franchise record in the 2023 KBO season. He’s cruising toward the franchise record for most saves without a blown save.
Seo pitched one scoreless inning in the bottom of the 10th inning of a 9-6 win over the Lotte Giants at Sajik Stadium in Busan on May 5 to record his 30th save of the season.
He was the first closer in the league to reach the 30-save plateau, and it’s surprising that he didn’t have a single blown save. In the 18 seasons since 2006, when blown saves began to be tracked, Seo is the only pitcher to reach 30 saves without a blown save.
Seo showed promise with 21 saves last season, his first full season in the closer’s role, but this year he’s been in the closer’s role from the start and has been working out of the back door.
Seo’s pace has been tremendous. He went 20 games without allowing an earned run after the opening day before giving up his first earned run of the season on May 21 against the Lotte Giants.
After a brief falter in June, when his ERA rose to 2.79, he settled down and returned to his league-leading closing form. He made 30 saves in his 91st start for the team and 43rd for himself.
It was the fewest games played in his entire career with SSG and its predecessor SK. He surpassed the previous record holder, Ha Jae-hoon (117 team games and 51 individual games), and created a new page in the club’s history.
Seo’s record-setting didn’t end there. He is also within striking distance of the club’s all-time record for most saves in a season.
With 30 saves, Seo is now seven saves away from tying the record with Cho Ung-chun and Jung Woo-ram. The previous record holder is Ha Jae-hoon, who was named the ‘Save King’ in 2019 with 36 saves.안전놀이터
SSG still has more than 50 games left in the season, so barring any injury setbacks, the record should be within reach. It will be interesting to see how many saves Seo Jin-yong can finish the season with, as he aims to not only set a new club record, but also win his first career save title.