On the 49th day after the opening, the starting lineup of the Lotte Giants finally regained their perfect form. Even Park Se-woong, who was the last puzzle of the Lotte starters, finally achieved a quality start (less than 3 earned runs in 6 innings) and the first win of the season.
Park Se-woong started the regular season match against SSG Landers of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 19th and played a reverse fight with 6 hits, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts and 1 run in 6 innings. With his tenacity to throw 107 pitches, he achieved his first quality start and first win of the season at the same time. The team won 7-5.
Prior to the game on this day, Park Se-woong had not been able to get a quality start in 6 games. He, of course, didn’t even pick up his first win of the season. While Dan Strayley, Charlie Barnes, and Han Hyun-hee, who had been sluggish in April, all survived, only Park Se-woong was unable to do his part alone. The burden on the mind was growing more and more.
However, Park Se-woong created momentum for a rebound with the best pitching this season at a critical juncture where the battle for first place with SSG took place that day. The average ERA for the season was also brought down to 4.11, and the team’s 6-game quality start march continued.
Park Se-woong treated lead batter Choi Ji-hoon with a ground ball to second baseman in the first inning. Choi Joo-hwan got a heavy hit, but he finished the first inning by eliminating Choi Jeong with a shortstop double hit.
In the second inning, the lead batter Heredia was treated as a floating ball in left field. He gave a heavy hit to Hanyu-seom and an infield hit to second baseman Park Seong-han, putting him in a crisis with one out and 1st and 2nd base. However, he overcame the crisis by striking out Oh Tae-gon and directly handling Lee Jung-beom with a pitcher grounder.
In the 3rd inning, he struck out Min-sik Kim, Ji-hoon Choi grounded, and Joo-hwan Choi struck out again, recording a three-way offense. However, he conceded four runs. Leading hitter Choi Jeong was induced with a catcher grounder, but after giving Heredia a double in the right field, Hanyu-seom got a heavy hit at the right time. The score was tied 1-1.
Afterwards, he gave up a walk to Park Seong-han and was put in a crisis with one company and 1st and 2nd base, but additional runs were suppressed by cooking Oh Tae-gon with a fly ball to right field and Jeon Jeon-beom to shortstop ground ball.
Then the batting line scored ahead again in the bottom of the 4th inning. However, in the top of the 5th inning, they ran into trouble again. He gave up a walk to lead batter Kim Min-sik and a left-handed hit to Choi Ji-hoon. Joo-hwan Choi’s sacrifice bunt put him in a crisis with 1 out and 2nd and 3rd base. However, he sighed as he struck out Choi Jeong, and Heredia intentionally sent out 4 pitches to complete the bases-loading strategy. Hanyu-seom, who scored two hits earlier in the 2nd run, dramatically escaped the crisis by inducing the first baseman with a ground ball. Park Se-woong expressed the moment of escaping the crisis with a roar.
He came on the mound in the 6th inning. First quality start challenge of the season. A difficult game was played with lead batter Park Seong-han. From the favorable count of 2 strikes, 스포츠토토 Park Seong-han’s cut led to a 13-ball full count game. In the end, Park Se-woong’s tenacity bore fruit. He treated it as a second baseman ground ball and added the first out count of the inning. Afterwards, Oh Tae-gon and Lee Jeong-beom were struck out in a row, finishing up to the 6th inning. The first quality start of the season was completed. The Lotte batting line, which scored one more point at the end of the 6th inning, made Park Se-woong’s victory requirements more perfect. In the 7th inning, he passed the ball to Kim Jin-wook, completing his mission for the day.
36 fastballs up to 150km, 29 sliders, 22 curveballs, and 20 forkballs, all of his pitches were properly mixed. There were three walks, but excluding one intentional four pitches, he showed off his most stable control this season.
Before the game, coach Larry Sutton said, “I can’t tell you just one problem with Park Se-woong. After he went to the WBC, he had confidence, but his performance didn’t follow.” He said, “I demanded and ordered efficient and aggressive pitching. He made such an effort and it seems that the results are coming out little by little,” he said, sending his faith toward Park Se-woong. And finally, Park Se-woong led the team to the fore by showing pitching in return for trust.