‘Ending a three-game losing streak’ coach Yoon Kyung-yup

“It was a tough game because of Kwak-Bin’s relief appearance….”

LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop talked about the team’s hard-fought victory over Doosan in the first game of the season. LG came from behind to win 2-1 in the first game of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League against Doosan on Wednesday at Jamsil Baseball Stadium. The sixth-ranked LG escaped a three-game losing streak and improved its season record to 9-8-1, while the eighth-ranked Doosan fell to 7-11 with its second straight loss.

LG made a change at the top of its roster to rebound. Captain Oh Ji-hwan, who led the team to the title last year and was named the Korean Series MVP, visited coach Yoon Kyung-yup ahead of the game.

“I kept thinking that Oh was not good enough as a captain, and I was struggling with the responsibility of the captaincy. He asked the coach to relinquish the captaincy to focus on baseball, and the coach accepted.”

LG had recently lost three straight games and dropped to sixth place with a record of 8-8-1. As Oh also had a stressful start to the season with poor individual performances, coupled with a poor team performance, Yeom accepted his request. From that day on, the captain’s armband was worn again by Kim Hyun-soo. Kim had been the leader of the LG squad when he was captain in the past, so he wasn’t too worried about the sudden change.

Kelly and Doosan starter Kwak-Bin Kwak had the last laugh in a tight pitching matchup. Kelly earned his first win of the season with seven innings, 101 pitches, two hits, two walks, eight strikeouts and one earned run (unearned). He used a mix of pitches, including a fastball (24), curveball (29), sinker (19), slider (11), changeup (8), cutter (7), and splitter (3), to cook Doosan hitters. His fastball topped out at 147 mph and averaged 144 mph.

Doosan starter Kwak Bin suffered his third loss of the season after allowing two runs on two hits and three walks with seven strikeouts in 6⅔ innings on 108 pitches. His fastball topped out at 155 mph and averaged 152 mph, and he mixed it up with curveballs (47), sliders (36), and changeups (14). Kwak-Bin pitched his best game of the year, but he didn’t get enough run support to keep his head down.

Kelly opened the scoring in the bottom of the third. She walked the leadoff batter, Kim Dae-rae. With runners at first and third, Jung Soo-bin hit a sacrifice fly to center field to make it 0-1.

The LG bats, which had been crushed by Kwak-Bin’s relief all game, started to come alive late. One out later, Moon Bo-kyung singled to right and Oh Ji-hwan walked to put runners on first and second. Kwak Bin got out of the jam by striking out Park Dong-won, but his pitch count had ballooned to 108 pitches. The Doosan bench opted for a pitching change with left-hander Lee Byung-heon.

LG took advantage of the change in pitcher Lee Byung-heon. Moon Sung-ju singled to left to tie the game at 1-1, and Yoon pulled out pinch-hitter Koo Bon-hyuk to pinch-hit for Shin Min-jae. Koo had shown his ability to come through in clutch situations by hitting the game-winning hit against the Jamsil NC Dinos (8-7 in 11 extra innings) on April 4 and the game-winning run against the Jamsil 안전놀이터 KT Wiz (8-4) on April 6. On that day, Koo Bon-hyuk also hit an RBI single to right-center to make it a 2-1 game. The game ended with a win for LG.

“We were in a tough situation, but Kelly pitched like an ace and gave us a good platform to win the game,” said LG coach Yoon Kyung-yup. Then, in a tight situation, Lee Woo-chan and Yoo Young-chan pitched well and took charge of their own innings, and we were able to win the game,” said LG coach Yoon Kyung-yup.

“In the batting lineup, it was a tough game due to Kwak Bin’s relief, but when we needed to score at a crucial moment, Moon Sung-ju was able to bring the game to a close with a tying run, and I would like to praise Koo Bon-hyeok, who was recently substituted as a pinch-hitter due to his good physical condition, who performed his duties 100% and played the most important role in winning today’s game. Congratulations to Kelly for his first win and to Koo Bon-hyeok for his first pinch-hit game-winning hit, and I look forward to his continued good performance.”

“Thanks to the passionate support of our fans, we were able to break the losing streak and turn the tables. Thank you.”


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