SSG Director Kim Won-hyung “Seo Jin-yong, who has more blond hair, needs to be aggressive”

The SSG Landers, who have fallen from the top of the regular season standings to the point where fall baseball is no longer a certainty, have found themselves in an even more difficult position with the recent faltering of their trusted closer, Seo Jin-yong.

Seo pitched the ninth inning of a 2-0 game against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on Thursday, but gave up a game-tying hit to Heo Kyung-min to give up a 2-3 loss, his fourth blown save of the season.

SSG is currently in fourth place, half a game ahead of the fifth-place KIA Tigers.

Looking ahead to their game against the LG Twins on Saturday at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, SSG manager Kim Won-hyung said, “(The game against Doosan on the 14th) was a very big game for the team. The important thing is that the result came out the way it did,” he said, pointing out that “Seo Jin-yong should have been hit by Kim In-tae at second and third base even if he was hit.”

With runners on first and second and Kang Seung-ho at the plate, Seo induced an infield grounder to trade one out for a run.

Trailing by one run at 2-1, SSG Battery avoided a confrontation with pinch-hitter Kim In-tae at second base and opted for the next batter, Park Kye-beom.

However, Kim In-tae walked and stole second base, putting runners on second and third with only one out to end the game.

Again, SSG Battery intentionally walked Park Kye-beom to load the bases and then chose to face Cho Su-dong.

Doosan then brought in Heo Kyung-min to pinch-hit for Cho, and Seo Jin-yong, whose control was shaky, gave up a wild pitch to tie the game at 2-2 before giving way to Heo Kyung-min’s game-winning hit.

Kim said, “If I don’t get a sign from the bench, I tell them to face the batter. On the mound, you may think it’s difficult to face the batter, but the moment the runner who walks is stolen, he becomes the tying run. I was disappointed that I didn’t see that.”

Seo became the first pitcher in KBO history to reach the 30-save plateau without a blown save.

He had never blown a save in 50 appearances before, but he failed to preserve a team victory for the first time on March 27 against Jamsil Doosan.

In his last eight games, Seo has blown four blown saves.

Kim said, “I’ve been struggling physically, so I’ve been making more mistakes. The forkballs are going into the strike zone when they shouldn’t be,” Kim said, adding, “I think I need to give the bench a signal to be a little more aggressive.” 스포츠토토

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