Yoo Young-chan, one of the LG Twins’ hottest commodities this season, filled in for Ko Woo-seok and recorded his first save in an emotional debut.
The LG Twins won the second game of their doubleheader against the KT Wiz of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League (15th game of the season) 3-0 on Sunday at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul.
After sweeping the first and second games of the doubleheader, leader LG extended its winning streak to four games and improved to 80 wins (2 ties, 48 losses) on the season. At the same time in Changwon, NC dropped the second game of a doubleheader to KIA, reducing its magic number from eight to six. The victory also secured a spot in the postseason for the fifth consecutive season since Cha Myung-seok took over as manager in 2019.
Young-chan Yoo took the mound as the team’s fourth pitcher in the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead. With closer Ko Woo-seok, who boasts 139 career saves, out of the lineup for the Asian Games, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop chose Yoo to close out the game. Yoo was the team’s last pitcher in the first game of the doubleheader, throwing one inning of one-hit ball with one strikeout and 22 pitches.
After getting a leadoff double to center field, Yoo briefly lost his peace and gave up singles to Kim Sang-soo and Park Byung-ho to put runners on first and second. He then faced Park with runners on first and second, but narrowly induced a foul fly to third base after nine pitches.
To make matters worse, Hwang Jae-gyun, a long-hitting outfielder, came to bat instead of Kim Jun-tae. Yoo was shaky for a moment as the first pitch turned into a ball, but then he fired a two-pitch fastball to right field. The game was over, and he earned his first career save.
After the game, Yoo said, “I’ve always wanted to make a save at least once in my life, and it feels good to do it today. I felt responsible when I realized that I was going to be the closer, but I tried not to think about it as much as possible. Because of the situation, my body got stronger and the ball floated a little bit. It helped that my coach and (Park) Dong-won told me to go light, light, light,” he said of his first save.
The former Bae Myung-go-Konkuk University player realized his professional dream with the 43rd pick in the second round of the 2020 Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) Rookie Draft, but not many LG fans knew his name until last year. That’s because he bounced around the Futures League without making his first-team debut and recently fulfilled his military obligation as a social service worker. His performance in the Futures League after being called up was also unremarkable, with a 4.50 ERA in 12 games with one loss and three holds.
Yoo capitalized on his second-team experience last year and pitched well in spring training and exhibition games this year. His record in the exhibition games was 1-0 with a 0.50 ERA in five games. This earned him a spot on the opening roster for the first time, and he made a successful debut with a one-hit shutout in the opening game against KT on April 1. After finishing the month of April with a 3.52 ERA in 12 games, Yoo continued to accumulate holds in early May, signaling the birth of a new pitching staff.
Yoo added to his joy by recording his first save of the season, after going 6-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 58 games and 10 starts this season, helping the team to the top of the LG League standings.토토사이트
“I would like to thank the fans for coming to the game,” Yoo said, giving credit to the fans for the strong performance, “I will always try to show a good performance. Thank you for your support,” he said sincerely.