SEOUL, South Korea (Yonhap) – In his first start in 958 days, Jang Won-jun (37, Dusan Bears) went five innings and earned the win.
Jang gave up four runs on seven 먹튀검증 hits in five innings in a home game against the Samsung Lions of the Korea Baseball Organization at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday.
Jang, who took over the mound from Park Chi-kook in the sixth inning with his team leading 6-4, will become the 11th player in KBO history to reach 130 career wins if his team wins without allowing the tying run to score, restarting the victory clock that stopped on May 5, 2018.
Jang got off to a good start in the first inning with a triple play.
After striking out the leadoff batter, Kim Ji-chan, on a full count, Jang retired the next batter, Kim Hyun-joon, on a grounder to second base.
The third batter, Koo Ja-roo, hit a hard pitch that hit Jang Won-jun in the leg and deflected toward the second baseman. With the lucky out, Jang Won-jun forgot about the pain in his leg and walked calmly into the first base dugout.
In the second inning, the mood changed.
Back-to-back singles by Jose Pirela and Kang Min-ho put runners on first and third with no outs.
Samsung’s Kang attempted a surprise bunt, and Pirela, who was at third, was thrown out at home.
However, Doosan first baseman Yang Seok-hwan, who caught the ball, made a bad throw to second baseman Lee Yoo-chan, who was covering first base, allowing the third baseman to reach home.
The run was scored on an infield single by Kang and a throwing error by Yang Seok-hwan.
With runners on first and third, Jang Won-jun struck out Oh Jae-il on a wild pitch.
However, he gave up an infield single to Kim Tae-gun and a two-out triple to right-center field to Lee Jae-hyun.
Jang Won-jun got Kim Ji-chan to fly out to left field and Kim Hyun-joon to strike out to end the threat.
Jang Won-jun changes his hat
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Doosan Bears and Samsung Lions play against each other during the 2023 Baseball World Series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday. Doosan starting pitcher Jang Won-jun fixes his hat. 2023.5.23 email@example.com
Trailing 1-4 in the bottom of the third inning, Doosan pounded out six hits and scored five runs to take a 6-4 lead.
Energized, Jang Won-jun pitched more innings without allowing another run.
In the fifth inning, with the game-winning run on the line, he struck out Kim Ji-chan, got Kim Hyun-joon to ground out to first base, and got Koo Ja-rook to ground out to second base.
It’s been 1,798 days since Jang Won-jun pitched five or more innings since June 20, 2018, against the Nexen Heroes (5 innings, 6 hits, 6 runs).
On this day, Jang Won-jun started a first-team game for the first time in two years and seven months (958 days) since October 7, 2020, against the SK Wyverns (formerly the SSG Landers).
He appeared in 32 games in 2021 and 27 games in 2022, all in relief.
This year, Jang opened the season with the Futures (second team) and started all four games for the second team. His record in the Futures League in 2023 is 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
With Dylan Pyle and Kwak Bin out of the first team roster due to injuries, Doosan needed to find a replacement, and head coach Lee Seung-yeop gave Jang Won-jun a chance to start.
Before the game, Lee said, “As it’s Tuesday, the start of the professional baseball week, I hope Jang Won-jun can throw long innings to reduce bullpen consumption.”
On that day, Jang’s fastball reached a maximum velocity of 141 kilometers per hour. It wasn’t as overpowering as it was in his prime, but he was able to get through five innings and fulfill the minimum role of a starter.
With a little more luck and a win, Jang will become one of only three active 130-win pitchers, joining former ace contenders Yang Hyun-jong (161 wins-KIA Tigers) and Kim Kwang-hyun (152 wins-SSG Landers).