The final hurdle to winning, LG’s solution is ‘collective’

LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop’s strategy to prepare for the departure of Ko Woo-seok (25) is to “finish the job.

LG will lose three of its mainstays from the lineup on March 23. Pitchers Ko Woo-seok and Jeong Woo-young and infielder Moon Bo-kyung will leave the team for a short period of time after joining the baseball team for the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG). With the KBO scheduled to run uninterrupted during the Games, how the three players are replaced will be a key factor in the team’s success.

For LG, Go Woo-seok’s departure is a big one. Go is an irreplaceable closer. Despite his uneven performance this season, he is one of the bullpen resources that manager Yoon Kyung-yup trusts. In the first game of the doubleheader against the SSG Landers at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 17, he came in with runners on first and second in the top of the eighth inning with a 5-3 lead and pitched one and two-thirds innings of scoreless relief.안전놀이터

Manager Yoon Kyung-yup does not favor multi-inning digestion of bullpen pitchers, but he pushed the ‘Go Woo-seok card’ in crunch time.

Go Woo-seok, dubbed the “post-Oh Seung-hwan,” became the youngest player in the league to reach 40 saves (24 years, 1 month, 21 days) last year and won his first individual save title (42 saves). He also became the third LG player in history to surpass 100 career saves, following Kim Yong-soo in 1991 and Bong Joong-geun in 2015. Beyond LG, he has established himself as one of the best closers in the KBO.

Of the 12 pitchers on Hangzhou AG’s final roster, Go Woo-seok is the only closer. The second-place KT Wiz (Kim Jae-yoon) and third-place NC Dinos (Lee Yong-chan) will play their Hangzhou AG period league schedules with their closers intact. LG, on the other hand, has a backup for Ko Woo-seok, former Holdwang Sidearms pitcher Jung Woo-young. The bullpen depth is bound to deteriorate significantly.

Coach Yoon Kyung-yup plans to not entrust the back door to a specific player. Yoo Young-chan, Baek Seung-hyun, Park Myung-geun, and Kim Jin-sung are all backups. Add in Ham Deok-ju, who is recovering from injury, and there are more cards to play. Yeom entrusted Lee Jung-yong to be the closer after Go Woo-seok went down with an injury early in the season.

However, he didn’t perform well under the pressure. That’s why he has a plan in his head that fits the situation rather than putting more pressure on one person. “I don’t have a specific person in mind,” said Yoon Kyung-yeop, “but I’ll go with the (opponent’s) batting order in the ninth inning. It’s not about one person, it’s about finishing as a group,” he said.

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