“Last place, responsible” Samsung’s 36-year-old lefty fights back…will he turn a gust into a typhoon?

“I feel the responsibility of being at the bottom.”

Samsung veteran left-hander Baek Jung-hyun, 36, signed a four-year, 3.8 billion won free agent contract after going 14-5 with a 2.63 ERA in the 2021 season. However, he didn’t live up to expectations after signing. He went 4-13 with a 5.27 ERA in 24 games in 2022 and 5-5 with a 3.89 ERA in 14 games this season.

This season has been better than last year, but he hasn’t contributed to the team at all when it matters most. He took a month off with elbow inflammation after the SSG game on June 23 and returned on June 30 against the Gochukkium. He flirted with a possible resurgence that day, pitching 5.2 innings of seven-hit ball, striking out two and walking one.

His fastball topped out at 140 mph and he mixed in a slider and changeup. He kept the Kiwoom bats in check through the middle of the game before getting hit hard in the sixth and giving up two runs. As his pitch count goes up, his velocity drops and he can’t control his pitches. Even without that, he pitched well enough.

Last-place Samsung swept four games (W, L, D, T) this week to make a late charge. They trail ninth-place Kiwoom by three games, so a comeback is not out of the question. Coach Park Jin-man had hoped for a second-half comeback from Baek Jeong-hyun during the last three games of the first half against KIA, and indeed, Baek needs to be an integral part of the starting lineup to help Samsung climb as high as possible.

“The batters gave up a lot of runs,” Baek said. I threw a lot of strikes and played quickly. If it wasn’t for their defense, it would have been tough. My arm is fine now. I got some inflammation from throwing a lot of pitches, but I recovered quickly. I’m going to be cautious.”

He feels responsible for the team’s last-place finish. But he also sees the tide slowly turning. “I feel responsible for the team being at the bottom,” he said. “I came in late, but the team is more energized than at the beginning. The mood is up. The club asked me to take a break, so I took care of them and came back, and now I will prepare well.” 꽁머니지급

Park Jin-man said, “The fact that the batters came to the plate with focus in the beginning of the game and got on base was the key to solving the game easily. Thanks to this, Baek Jung-hyun, who was on the mound for the first time in a long time, was able to ease the pressure and do his part. However, I was not able to pitch cleanly in the transition from the starting lineup to the bullpen. We need to improve in the future.”

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *