“I want to reduce the ups and downs”…Jang Jae-young on pitching his first QS and personal best innings, what’s next for him [SPO Interview]

“I will try to reduce the ups and downs more in the future.”

Jang Jae-young (21, Kiwoom Heroes) has vowed to reduce his ups and downs for the rest of the season.

Jang started against the LG Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on the 11th.

LG is the league’s top team this season (59 wins, 2 ties, 35 losses, and a winning percentage of 0.628) and boasts a stellar offence, leading the league in team batting average (0.281), hits (927), RBIs (487), and OPS (slugging percentage + on-base percentage, 0.760). He was no pushover.메이저사이트

Jang Jae-young did his job against the league-leading LG Twins. ⓒKeum Heroes

The game was a steady affair. After giving up a hit and a walk in the first inning, he pitched cleanly until the end of the fourth inning. However, they faltered in the fifth inning and gave up a run. She was unable to overcome the bats of the opposition. He gave up a leadoff single to Moon Bo-kyung and then a double to Park Dong-won to put runners in scoring position.

Jang Jae-young sacrificed Kim Min-sung to get one out, but gave up another run on a fielder’s choice when Park Hae-min grounded to shortstop with runners on first and third. He then allowed Park Hae-min to steal second before giving up a single to Moon Sung-joo to make it 0-3.

Despite the one-time crisis, Jang settled down again in the bottom of the sixth, retiring batters 4-6 to end the inning in order. Final Score: 6 innings, 4 hits (1 HR), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, 3 earned runs, his first quality start (6 innings or less in a start) and his longest outing. Despite the team’s 3-5 loss, Jang’s performance on the mound against a strong team was definitely a win.

Jang Jae-young threw hope. KIUM Heroes

A day later (12th), Jang reflected on his last outing (11th, Jamsil LG Electronics) when we met before the game. “It was good that I didn’t walk any batters. I want the team to win, but there are a lot of regrets. I think I could have finished with fewer runs at the end of the fifth inning. When I threw the same pitch back-to-back, the results were bad, and I think I made (the same) mistake again when (Moon) Bo-kyung hit a home run off my brother, so I’m sorry about that,” he explained.

While there were certainly things to be disappointed about, there were also many positives. Firstly, the reduction in four-pitchers was impressive. Jang was far from a reliable pitcher this season, giving up 36 four-pitchers in 48⅓ innings.

He had a particularly shaky outing against the Gochuk Samsung Lions on the 30th of last month, when he allowed six four-seamers with two outs, but today he kept the batters at bay with only one walk. His four-seam fastball (51 pitches) reached a maximum velocity of 153 kilometres per hour, while his slider (28 pitches) and curveball (14 pitches) worked well together.

Jang Jae-young drew attention with his steady delivery. ⓒKeum Heroes

“I tried to forget about that game (against Samsung Electronics on the 30th of last month). I think I had a bad performance against Samsung at the beginning of the season, and I was greedy to make up for it, so I cleared my mind a lot. I talked a lot with (Chung) Chan-heon about my fastball grip, and he explained a lot about what type of pitcher I am and how to be aggressive, so those things helped me a lot,” he said.

His older brothers are also very fond of the youngest member of the starting line-up. “All my brothers are doing a great job. Yesterday was my first quality start, so they said a lot of good things to me, saying, ‘You just need to do better little by little. I also talked to Chan Heon yesterday (11th) and said that I was disappointed with this part, but he said, ‘You showed a lot of good things,’ which gave me confidence and I was grateful,” he said.

Jang concluded, “It’s hard to judge from one game, but I’m trying to reduce my ups and downs. I want to show the manager, the club, and my teammates that I can go the distance even if I give up a hit, and that’s the job of a starting pitcher. That’s the job of a starting pitcher, to pitch with fewer ups and downs until the end of the season.”

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