“I’m honored and grateful.”
On the 27th, during the game between the LG Twins and the KIA Tigers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field, KIA starter Yang Hyun-jong gave up three runs in the sixth inning and handed the mound to Choi Ji-min with runners on first and second with his team leading 6-3.
Yang’s 162nd career win was on the line. There were seven outs left. They had a three-run lead, but it wasn’t a comfortable one. In a tense situation, Choi gave up a walk to Moon Sung-joo to put runners on the corners, but he induced a grounder to Oh Ji-hwan to end the inning without a run.
In the eighth inning, Choi retired Austin Dean on a fly ball to left field and struck out Kim Hyun-soo and Moon Bo-kyung for a scoreless inning. Kia’s victory was completed with a win by Yang Hyun-jong, who moved into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list.
“I was conscious of the fact that I was about to pass my seniors for second place on the all-time wins list, but I wanted to go up there and stop the batters, and it turned out to be a good result,” Choi said after the game.
The result extended Choi’s scoreless streak to 17 games and 20 1/3 innings, a feat that’s even more remarkable given the increasingly tight conditions in which she’s been pitching. “I’m not worried about (the no-hitter) at all, I’m just thinking about doing my best for each batter,” Choi said.
The tougher situations are more welcome. “At the beginning of the season, I didn’t feel confident because I was in a lot of losing situations, but as I kept going into important situations, I felt more and more confident and was able to throw good pitches,” he said.스포츠토토
Now, it’s impossible to talk about the KIA bullpen without mentioning Choi Ji-min. Despite the save, Yang Hyun-jong is “proud and grateful” to see the junior’s growth.
“Even when our middle relievers weren’t doing well, Jimin kept doing his job, and I think it’s great that he’s making a place for himself,” Yang said, adding, “It’s great to see young players competing in good faith and trying to seize opportunities when they come along.”