The momentum of Seo Jin-yong크크크벳 (31, photo), the “guardian god” of professional baseball SSG, is unusual. His performance at the beginning of the season is comparable to the pace of Samsung Oh Seung-hwan in 2006 and 2011, which set the record for the most saves (47) in a single season in the KBO League.

Seo Jin-yong, who appeared in 12 games in the 2023 season, has already collected 10 saves (1 win) and proudly ranks first in the save category. Seo Jin-yong took the mound in the top of the ninth inning against Doosan held at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 28th, leading 4-1, and faced a crisis with two outs loaded. He is comfortably ahead of Lotte Kim Won-joong (5 saves), who is second in this category. Seo Jin-yong’s ERA is ‘0’ so far. SSG fans gave him a new nickname. Borrowing the title of the Japanese animation <Suzume’s Door Lock>, we call him ‘Suzume’s Door Lock’. It is the highest tribute from fans to the team’s closer who has to lock the back door.

Seo Jin-yong, who we met at Jamsil Stadium ahead of the match against LG on the 27th, smiled broadly when the word “Seo Zume” came out, as if he knew the nickname given by fans. Seo Jin-yong said, “At first, I didn’t know what it meant,” but “as a finishing pitcher, I really liked the expression ‘close the door’.”

Seo Jin-yong, who pitched in 68 games last year and ended the season with an individual record of 21 saves (7 wins and 3 losses) and an average ERA of 4.01, won the ‘Wire-to-Wire’ that SSG achieved without giving up the top spot to any other club. contributed to However, he was unable to complete the position as a closer as he frequently faltered in the middle and late seasons.

It is also true that at the start of the 2023 season, there was a question mark towards the “finisher” Jin-yong Seo. However, Seo Jin-yong is showing an active performance as if he came out of an egg. How has he changed from last year? Seo Jin-yong said, “Before, he tried to throw the ball hard, so his pitching balance was greatly ruined. In this spring camp, I focused on finding the right pitching balance for me,” he said. I think it led to good results because I didn’t throw a runaway pitch on the mound,” he explained. The power of the main weapon ‘Splitter’ has also been doubled. The hit rate of the splitter behind the fastball in the middle of 140 km/h is only 0.071.

Looking at the record so far, Seo Jin-yong’s performance this season is comparable to Oh Seung-hwan’s best season, which is regarded as the best finish in KBO league history. Oh Seung-hwan, who is heading for a total of 500 saves in Korea, the US and Japan, and 400 saves in the KBO League, recorded 47 saves, the most in a single season in the league in the 2006 and 2011 seasons, with 9 saves in 11 games. He had an ERA of 0.60 and 1.42, respectively.

Seo Jin-yong has been recognized for his ability to throw attractive fastballs and has been a key player in the team since the 2015 season. However, despite his top-notch performances, such as 33 holds in the 2019 season, there are some parts that did not give certain faith as a winning group. Seo Jin-yong talked about his goal and responsibility to take a step further this season and make more than 30 saves as a full-time closer necessary for SSG to win two consecutive seasons. Seo Jin-yong said, “My biggest goal is to help the team win this season.”

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