Kiwoom Heroes Jang Jae-young, 21, was unable to pick up his first career win.
Jang Jae-young started the game against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Nov. 11 and pitched three innings of two-hit ball with two walks and two strikeouts.
Jang Jae-young, who helped Kiwoom score five runs in the first inning, walked Kim Sang-soo and was hit by an Anthony Alford single to put runners on first and second. However, Park Byung-ho’s throw to the second baseman was caught in a straight line and Kim Sang-soo was unable to get to second base, turning a double play.
After a leadoff walk to Moon Sang-chul in the second, Jang Jae-young induced Hwang Jae-gyun to fly out to center field. Lee Ho-yeon walked but got Kang Hyun-woo to fly out to center field. In the third inning, he struck out the side with two strikeouts.
Jang Jae-young, who threw 52 pitches, was replaced by Lee Myung-jong in the fourth inning when Kiwoom led 8-0. With two more innings to go, Jang would have gotten his first career win, but his unexpectedly early departure denied him the chance to earn his first victory in three years. Kiwoom won the game 14-4.
Jang used a fastball (26 pitches), slider (22 pitches), and curveball (4 pitches) to shut down the KT bats. His fastball topped out at 154 kilometers per hour and he had a 57.7 percent strike rate.
Jang Jae-young was a highly touted prospect after joining Kiwoom as the first overall pick in the 2021 Rookie Draft, but he hasn’t had much success so far this season. He started the season as a five-starter, but was demoted to the second team after just two games due to poor pitching. After cooling his heels in the Futures League, Jang returned to the first team on April 4.
In his second start since returning, Jang did his part, but was unable to secure the win. Manager Hong Won-ki said in a pregame interview, “Jang Jae-young gave up a run in the last game, but he pitched well. I think he will throw a similar number of pitches today. I think it’s better to hope he gets better gradually rather than throwing long innings all of a sudden because he’s good.”
On Jang Jae-young’s early exit, Ki said, “Jang Jae-young doesn’t have anything wrong with his body. It was planned for him to pitch only three innings before the game. In order for him to be a stable starter, we decided it was better to replace him when he was in a good flow rather than in a crisis.” 안전놀이터
Jang Jae-young said in a postgame interview, “I still don’t have my first win, so it’s a bit disappointing to come off the mound when the team was winning big. But I’ve always left the mound with regrets, and (Lee) told me that the fact that I left with regrets means that I pitched well today. I felt like it was my job to pitch three innings today, so I’m happy with that.”