‘National team closer’ Go Woo-seok (25) has given up his desire to focus on his own ball mix. It was his intention to utilize his fastball, which was his strength, rather than focusing on breaking balls. Go Woo-seok went on the mound even in a losing game and experimented with this ball combination. Even when Go Woo-seok was losing, he was the reason he went on the mound. And after the meeting, he is showing even more evolution.
The LG Twins won 5-4, by one point, in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away game (game 11) against KT Wiz held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 5th.안전놀이터
With this win, LG maintained its lead in the league with 68 wins, 43 losses, and 2 draws. LG succeeded in escaping its second consecutive loss. At the same time, the gap over ‘second place’ KT was widened to 6.5 games. LG had an advantage over KT this season with 6 wins and 5 losses. On the other hand, KT, which suffered 4 consecutive losses, recorded 63 wins, 51 losses, and 2 draws. Now, in the game on the 6th, LG is aiming for victory with Kelly and KT starting with Benjamin.
On this day, LG Twins manager Yeom Kyung-yeop met with reporters before the game and said, “I told them to reduce Ko Woo-seok’s breaking ball rate.”
This season, Go Woo-seok has 3 wins, 6 losses, 13 saves, and an ERA of 3.32 in 39 relief appearances. While he has pitched a total of 38 innings, he has allowed 30 hits (2 home runs), 18 walks, 53 strikeouts, 14 runs (14 earned), and 1 blown save. WHIP (on-base percentage allowed per inning) is 1.26. The hitting percentage was 0.217. In the aftermath of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) last March, he was unable to play many games in the early part of the season due to a shoulder injury.
Go Woo-seok appeared as a relief pitcher in the top of the 9th inning in a home game against the Hanwha Eagles on the 2nd when both teams were tied 3-3. However, in ⅔ innings, he suffered a loss, allowing 2 hits, 1 walk, 2 balls hit by balls to the body, 1 strikeout, and 2 runs. At that time, Go Woo-seok threw a total of 23 pitches, using 9 fastballs, 9 cutters, 4 curves, and 1 slider.
In fact, it was a ball combination that was not like Go Woo-seok’s. He chose only 9 fastballs, which can be said to be his strongest strength. Eventually, after this game, the coaching staff, Ko Woo-seok, catchers Park Dong-won, and Heo Do-hwan gathered together for a meeting. And here Go Woo-seok made a decision. While Ko Woo-seok has been dealing with opposing hitters with his own ball combination, from now on he will follow the catcher’s signature more closely.
Manager Yeom said, “There are batters who need to use breaking balls and batters who need to stick with fastballs. We talked about how to design pitching according to each player’s greatest strength and the value of the pitch. Ko Woo-seok has his own thoughts, but many others also have them. “I think that much. We communicated with each other,” he said.
He continued, “Koh Woo-seok’s strength is his fastball. He has to make good use of breaking balls based on his fastball. While throwing a breaking ball, the ball count becomes unfavorable and he inevitably gets hit by a fastball. This is the same for Jung Woo-young. Jung Woo-young’s strength is that he has a pitch seam in the 150 km range. “You have to mix in breaking balls to get two-seam balls and breaking balls,” he added.
LG Go Woo-seok is heading to the dugout after finishing the 8th inning in the Suwon KT game on the 5th. /Photo=Newsi
Go Woo-seok also took the mound in the game on the 3rd, the day after the loss. It was definitely unusual because he took the mound while the team was down 3-5 at the time. Although Go Woo-seok allowed one walk in one inning, he held off the pitch with a no-hitter. The total number of pitches is 20. He threw 11 fastballs, 5 cutters, 2 sliders, and 2 curveballs. He threw more fastballs than in the game on the 2nd. Coach Yeom explained the reason, saying, “We put him in the game on the 3rd to test what we talked about during the meeting,” and then added, “The rate of fastballs must have gone up a lot. Of course, (Go) Wooseok is greedy for breaking balls. But this meeting “The conversation ended on a good note. We will continue to communicate more with the catcher and focus our ball mix on the catcher,” he said emphatically.
And after resting for a day, Go Woo-seok appeared again against Suwon KT on the 5th. He was the game-winner of the bench. Bottom of the 8th inning, with LG leading 5-4, by one point. Park Myung-geun went on the mound and guided Park Byeong-ho to a ground ball to second base, but allowed Jang Seong-woo to hit a double. KT replaced Jang Seong-woo with pinch runner Ahn Chi-young. Park Myung-geun was shaken as he gave a straight walk to pinch hitter Kim Min-hyuk. In the end, the LG bench moved here. Go Woo-seok’s input. It was a strong performance that resulted in a closer in a ‘5 out’ situation. Go Woo-seok guided Lee Ho-yeon into a double play in front of the shortstop after just three balls, overcoming the danger of allowing the game to tie the game.
LG’s Go Woo-seok is expressing his gratitude to Hong Chang-ki, who performed a great performance in the 9th inning against Suwon KT on the 5th.
LG Go Woo-seok is giving a high five to catcher Park Dong-won after making a save in the game against Suwon KT on the 5th.
The bottom of the 9th inning continued. Go Woo-seok came up again. Go Woo-seok led leadoff hitter Bae Jeong-dae to a straight hit to right field. Go Woo-seok took off his hat and expressed his gratitude to Hong Chang-gi, who made a wonderful sliding catch. He then gave up a heavy hit to Moon Sang-cheol, but after catching Cho Yong-ho with a straight hit to shortstop, he set up Hwang Jae-gyun with a swinging strikeout after a full count. 1⅔ innings, 1 hit, 1 strikeout, no runs allowed. Go Woo-seok’s total number of pitches is 22. He used 14 fastballs, 5 cutters, and only 3 curves. He responded by intermittently mixing in the fastball-centered ball mix by showing curves. Successful 13th save of the season (3 wins, 16 losses).
After the game, the head coach also praised Go Woo-seok. Coach Yeom said, “I thought the 8th inning would be the deciding factor, so I brought in Go Woo-seok at a fast tempo, but he overcame the tough situation and resolved 5 outs. I would like to praise Go Woo-seok, who played a decisive role in today’s victory, for his hard work.” did.
After posting a save on the 5th, Go Woo-seok met with reporters and said, “Rather than mixing the ball, I prefer to throw the ball well off the mound,” and then added, “Of course, I understand what the coach said. However, because I am stubborn, (the ball mixing is not the best).” ) I did just that,” he said. Regarding his poor performance against Hanwha last time, he said, “I practice my balance every day. But that day, I felt my balance was broken. When I threw a ball that hit my body to senior Choi Jae-hoon (Hanwha), my legs were even twisted. It had been a long time since I had experienced that, so I felt angry at myself. “It was a lot,” he confessed.
Go Woo-seok said, “Of course, there may be a problem with (my) ball combination, but that is a problem to think about later,” and added, “The most important thing to focus on is preparing so that the balance is not lost.” Regarding his desire to throw breaking balls, he said, “I just enjoy throwing the ball. It’s true that I have a desire to use every pitch I throw to the best of my ability.”
Go Woo-seok said, “The stadium officials really worked hard. I want to say thank you. I was worried about the condition of the ground, but it was better than I expected, so I was even more grateful.” He added, “I had a similarly difficult experience after attending the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. So, that’s why.” “It’s okay (for now). I don’t think this year should end here. We may be shaken, but we must not collapse. I will continue to play the game with this mindset,” he said, solidifying his resolve.