Kiwoom Heroes nine-hitter Jang Jae-young (21) is showing his potential.
Jang Jae-young started the game against the KIA Tigers at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Sunday, allowing three runs (three earned) on seven hits with five walks and four strikeouts in six innings. He was unable to get the win as he left the game trailing 1-3. However, it was his second straight quality start, proving his ability to be a starter.
The first inning was shaky. He gave up back-to-back singles to leadoff hitter Park Chan-ho and Choi Won-joon. But 19-year-old catcher Kim Dong-heon made a bullet throw to nab both runners at second base. It would have been runners on first and second with two outs. I was happy to get Kim Do-young to ground out to the outfield to end the first inning.
The second inning was also a crisis. Na gave up a single to Sung-beom and walked Choi Hyung-woo. Then, Socrates hit a single that rolled into the right field corner for the first run. It was a big inning. After a failed outfield bunt, Lee struck out Lee Chang-jin and gave up another three-run single to Kim Tae-gun.
The runner at second, Choi Hyung-woo, was slow and stopped at third base, leading to the first out. Jang Jae-young didn’t waver and struck out Choi Jung-yong on a hard fastball. Park Chan-ho then threw a changeup on a full count and induced a swinging strike. He showed off his ability to get out of trouble with a save.
In the third inning, Park gave up a double down the right field line to the first batter he faced, and Na Sung-bum’s sacrifice fly to right field put two on with runners on first and third, but he got Choi Jung-yong to ground into a double play and Kim Do-young to ground into a double play with runners on first and second in the fifth to prevent further damage. The pitches were well placed and both rolled in front of the second baseman to prevent a run.
In the sixth inning, the leadoff hitter, Na Sung-bum, hit a double over the right field fence. Luckily, Choi Hyung-woo’s straight line drive was caught by Kim Hye-sung’s thunderous throw to second base. He breathed a sigh of relief, but gave up a solo shot to Socrates for the third run. He struck out Lee Chang-jin to complete the quality start.
Jang Jae-young is in his third year as a starter. He was sent down to the Futures team after struggling in the opening two games, but returned in June and has been a starter ever since. As he continued to face hitters, he gained experience, gained tips, and started to improve his pitches. On the 11th, he pitched six innings and three runs against the powerhouse LG to earn his first QS.
Before the game, manager Hong Won-ki expressed strong confidence in Jang Jae-young. “He pitched his best game against Jamsil LG. He got hit by a home run by Moon Bo-kyung, but for the first time, he got out of his control problem and battled with the batter. I praised him for pitching his best game. I had fewer ups and downs. We need to increase the evaluation weight of the game management ability,” he said.안전놀이터
His fastball topped out at 151 mph (61 pitches) with a slider (30 pitches) and four curves. He gave up five walks, but they were all in the lower part of the strike zone. He pitched in response to his commander’s confidence. He’s a solid starter behind Ahn, Hurado, and McKinney. He could even be considered the third starter. The nine-hundred-thousand-pound pitcher, who had been waiting in the wings, finally started to shine three years after joining the team.