LG Twins closer Ko Woo-seok (25) bounced back from a day of shock.
LG earned a thrilling 5-4 victory over the KT Wiz in Game 2 of the Korean Series of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO postseason at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Monday. It was a come-from-behind win. With the win, LG evened the series at 1-1.
It was a tough road to victory. Starter Choi Won-tae was pulled with just one out. It was an unplanned bullpen day. LG’s bullpen was strong. Lee Jung-yong (1⅔ innings), Jung Woo-young (1⅓ innings), Kim Jin-sung (⅔ innings), Baek Seung-hyun (⅔ innings), Yoo Young-chan (2⅓ innings), Ham Deok-joo (1 inning), and Go Wooseok (1 inning) combined for 8⅔ scoreless innings.
At the plate, the veterans came through. Kim Hyun-soo hit a game-tying RBI single, Oh Ji-hwan woke up the bats with a solo shot, and, crucially, Park Dong-won hit a game-winning two-run homer.
In the first game of the tournament on the previous day (July 7), Go Woo-seok suffered a setback. He lost the game in a tense 2-2 situation.
Here’s what happened. Go took the mound in the top of the ninth inning and quickly got the first two outs by getting Park Byung-ho to ground out to shortstop and Jang Jang-woo to fly out to left field. However, he was in trouble when he gave up a walk after a nine-pitch at-bat. In the next at-bat, Moon Sang-chul took the lead with two strikes, but then threw two consecutive pitches. The fifth pitch was foul. It came down to a six-pitch battle, and on the sixth pitch, a 133-kilometer curveball was driven up the middle for a double off the fence. The game was tied at 2-3. LG was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth and lost the game.굿모닝토토 주소
With the loss, LG lost a 74.4% chance of winning. The importance of winning the first game in the short-term cannot be overemphasized, and Go Woo-seok’s heartache must have been unspeakable as he took the loss into his own hands.
Go picked himself up. He was given the opportunity to take the mound in Game 2, and he performed well, proving to be one of the strongest closers in the league.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Park Dong-won hit a two-run homer to make it 5-4. Go Woo-seok was on the mound. He faced pinch-hitter Kim Min-hyuk. After three fastballs in a row, he lured him with a 130-kilometer curveball on the fourth pitch for a swinging strike. Then came Choi Soo-ho. This time, he used a four-pitch fastball, a 151-kilometer fastball, to get Choi to ground out. This time, he got two outs. To the final batter, Kim Sang-soo, he threw back-to-back 154-kilometer fastballs to get him to ground out to second base. A clean first inning. He was able to wash away the pain of the previous day.
When we met after the game, he wasn’t smiling. ”I was just thinking about focusing on the game, and I’m not that excited yet. But I’m very happy (the team won),” he said.
The injury he sustained in the Blue-Black game has been bothering him ever since. He pitched in the ninth inning of a practice game against the Sangmu on April 1, but stopped pitching after feeling back pain. The next day, he went to the hospital and underwent an MRI, which revealed a simple back strain. I was very lucky that it wasn’t a major injury.
“I didn’t feel good during the practice game, so I was worried. Especially yesterday (the 7th), I think I was most worried.” After looking back, he said, “My physical condition was better than my anxiety. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I think it helped me prepare for today’s match,” he said with a sigh of relief.
The win in Game 2 was just as important for Go Woo-seok as it was for LG. ”Every win is important, but I think today’s win was a little more important. ”I want to give myself a 100 for my pitching today, and I’m personally satisfied that I pitched well where I wanted to. Now we need to maintain this good form.”
The LG fans are cheering hard. After the first game, the second game was also a full house. Even the third base area was filled with LG fans.
“When (Park Dong-won) hit the game-winning home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, I was deafened. I was going to throw one more pitch and leave, but the adrenaline from the cheers made me rest for a long time and then go up. ”You can really hear the chants for a strikeout,” he said, “and it’s so loud. I was worried that if I didn’t get a strikeout, I wouldn’t live up to the fans’ expectations.”
The manager was also full of praise. ”We showed our true colors today. The players, myself, and the staff all said things to give him confidence. Yesterday, he had a bad pitch, a fastball, and we had a meeting and talked about it. Today, it became a fastball. I’m looking forward to the future,” he smiled.