He didn’t fail twice.
KT Wiz closer Kim Jae-yoon, who pitched three innings for his team and then came up short the next day, preserved the win against SSG Landers with a triple shutout on a day off.
Kim Jae-yoon took the mound in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 3-0 lead against SSG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday, retiring three batters on five pitches to close out the game.
Starter Wes Benjamin retired all 20 batters he faced until the bottom of the seventh inning, when he was broken up by a double from No. 3 Choi Jeong, but he was one percent shy of a perfect game with no hits and four walks through the eighth inning. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth on Park Byung-ho’s RBI single, KT extended its lead to 3-0 in the top of the ninth on Park’s two-run shot to right field. Benjamin had thrown 103 pitches by the eighth inning. He could have gone for his first complete game in the KBO, but with four days off and a doubleheader against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on the 17th, he ended his outing with eight innings and turned to Kim Jae-yoon to close out the ninth.
The opportunity for revenge came soon after.
In the top of the ninth inning of a 5-3 home game against SSG in Suwon on Nov. 11, Kim took the loss after giving up three runs on a triple to Choi Ji-hoon, a single to Choi Jeong, and a walk-off double to Park Sung-ho to make it a 5-6 game.
I pitched three innings in the ninth inning of the 8-8 tie against SSG on the 10th, and I was thinking about it until the next day, so when I was in a save situation on the 11th, I took the mound and unfortunately gave up the game-winning run.
For a reliever, a drop in confidence after a blown save can be a problem, but for Kim Jae-yoon, who has been KT’s closer for a long time and has developed himself by experiencing both success and failure, such a blown save was not a problem.
Coincidentally, his first opponent of the day was Park Sung-ho, who had hit the game-winning home run two days earlier. He had thrown a 145-kilometer fastball in a 2B2S count and allowed a home run, but this time, he went for the fastball as if he was going to hit it again. The first pitch, a 143-kilometer fastball, was high and became a ball, but the second pitch, a 141-kilometer fastball, went into the middle of the plate and became a ground ball in front of the second baseman. The second pitch was a 141-kilometer fastball in the middle of the plate that went straight to the second baseman. Choo Shin-soo induced a grounder in front of the first baseman with a 143-kilometer fastball. In the final at-bat, Choi Ji-hoon fouled off a 143-kilometer fastball to the first baseman. All five pitches he threw were fastballs. He threw a fastball that was hit for a home run, but he used it to get the opponent out.
With the save, Kim Jae-yoon recorded his 26th save. After 31 saves in 2021 and 32 saves last year, he is now four saves away from 30 saves for the third straight year. He is the fourth pitcher to reach the milestone after Lim Chang-yong (1998-2000), Oh Seung-hwan (2006-2008) and Son Seung-rak (2012-2014).메이저놀이터
He will be a free agent after this season, and there are already rumors that several clubs are interested in him.
The back door proved to be no problem for Kim, who put the nightmare of two days ago behind him as he capped off Benjamin’s perfect victory.