“If the failures increase, I think we should look at it broadly”
On March 13, Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop was asked before the All-Star break about Hong Gun-hee’s stats, saying that although he doesn’t have a blown save, his numbers have been a little off since last month. After posting a 2.45 ERA with five saves in 11 appearances in April, Hong continued to perform well in May with a 1-6 record and a 1.50 ERA in 10 games. In June, however, he went 2-5 with five saves, but his WHIP (walks allowed per inning) spiked to 2.61 and his ERA to 3.52.
“We’re still talking about it. Hong Gun-hee has been doing a great job. She was shaky, but she made 20 saves. I don’t know what will happen in the second half, but I think it won’t be the same. But I’m also thinking about different options. For now, the ideal picture is for Hong Gun-hee to be our goalkeeper.”
Lee Seung-yeop seemed to have a lot on his mind. However, he expressed his intention to give Hong Gun-hee the closing role in the second half of the season, as she has been in charge of the team’s back door without a blown save since her first appearance in the regular season, despite her unstable pitching. So Hong Gun-hee took the mound as Doosan’s ‘closer’ in the second half. However, the jitters at the end of the first half could not be erased, and the manager threw a game-changer.
On the 15th, Lee revealed his intention to swap the roles of Hong Gun-hee and Jung Chul-won. While Chung hasn’t been performing at the same level as last year, when he burst onto the scene with 23 holds and won the Rookie of the Year title, he has shown signs of resurgence with one win, three holds, and a 1.17 ERA in eight games in July, and the team has been preparing for the departure of Hong Gun-hee, who will become a free agent at the end of the season.
However, so far, the results of the closing change have been a cold, hard ‘no’. Since moving to the closer position, Chung has been even worse than when Hong was showing signs of insecurity. In his first start since moving to the closer’s role, Jung Chul-won gave up one run (one earned) in ⅔ innings against the KT Wiz, and in five games, he has given up five runs (five earned) in 4⅔ innings with a 9.64 ERA.
The 27th game in particular was very disappointing for Doosan. On the 27th, SSG Landers’ closer Seo Jin-yong earned his first blown save of the season to keep the game close in extra innings. However, Jung Chul-won, who also took the mound in the 10th inning, gave up two runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out one, and fell to 3-5.
It’s a crucial time to punch their ticket to the postseason, but for now, manager Lee Seung-yeop is willing to give Jung a little more faith. “I think it would be too easy to make a decision based on one or two games because our pitchers have been doing so well so far, so it’s a tough time, but of course I believe in them,” he said before the 29th game against the LG Twins in Jamsil.먹튀검증
“I don’t think it’s a mental problem for (Chung) Chul-won,” Lee said, “because he’s so strong mentally. “I talked to the pitching coach, and he said that there is a difference in his posture from when he was good. I found the problem while watching the video, so I’ll trust him again.”
When asked if there would be any changes from the current system, Lee said, “Yes.” He nailed it. However, he added one ‘condition’: “I’ve decided that Chung Chul-won will be the finisher, but if he’s not in good shape and his failures increase, I think I’ll have to look a little broader.” “I think I’ll have to focus on players who are in good shape on the day. We need to think about the team and play for the team’s victory,” he emphasized.
In other words, Chung is undoubtedly Doosan’s ‘back door’ player, but with a busy road ahead, if the current trend continues, he will inevitably fall out of the finishing position he has been hoping for. For now, the team’s commander says he’ll trust him. It remains to be seen if Chung can quickly stabilize and establish himself as Doosan’s next closer.