Is Park Se-woong a genius, a new ‘master’ in one day of practice 53 days after starting… ‘안경에이스’ 살아진 ‘5강 싸움 이끈다

Park Se-woong (28-Lotte Giants) is back on track after becoming a liability in the second half of the season. After changing his pitches during the season, he showed his “genius” in the field in one day.

Park started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the SSG Landers at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on Friday, giving up two runs on six hits and four walks with three strikeouts in six innings.

On the day, Park used a fastball that reached up to 150 kilometers per hour and a sharp slider to cook SSG hitters. He didn’t walk a single batter in the entire game. Best of all, he didn’t throw any of the wild pitches that have been criticized recently.

Of course, there was a crisis. After giving up a leadoff single to Shin-Soo Choo in the fourth inning, Park gave up a run on a poor replay of Choi Joo-hwan’s double in the third. He then loaded the bases with a single and a walk and allowed Kim Kang-min to score from third on a grounder to shortstop. But he got Ha Jae-hoon to fly out to right field to end the threat.토토사이트

From there, he found his groove again. After getting out of the fifth inning with one hit and no runs, Park Se-woong walked Park Sung-ho with two outs in the sixth. However, he struck out Kim Kang-min to end the inning. Catcher Lee Jung-geun, who batted alongside Park, finished with three hits and two RBIs, and veteran Noh Jin-hyuk also had a three-hit game, helping Lotte to a 10-6 victory and handing Park the starting job.

Lotte’s Park Se-woong pitches against Sajik SSG on May 15. /Photo=Lotte Giants
New pitch added during the season, ‘slow slider’ draws batters in

Park Se-woong. /Photo=Lotte Giants
It’s been 53 days since Park last picked up a win, on June 23 against the Jamsil LG Electronics. After a shaky April with a 5.12 ERA, Park rebounded in May (1.88) and June (1.56) to establish himself as Lotte’s de facto ace. In July, however, Park began to falter, piling up losses in his last five starts before this one, and his ERA jumped to 7.40. In his three starts in July, he gave up more than four runs in all three games.

In crunch time, Park came out with a new weapon. “Coach Kim Hyun-wook (pitching coach) told me, ‘Short and fast sliders are good, but when you’re making mistakes, hitters sometimes get stuck on them. “He said, ‘Why don’t you try throwing a slower slider with a big angle,'” he says, “and then I got a new pitch and was able to throw two sliders at once.

What’s amazing is that he only had to practice for one day before using it in a game. “I practiced the day before the last NC game (Game 3) and used it right away, and the results were good,” Park said. In fact, Park’s slider, which usually sits in the low 130 mph range, dropped to a low of 126 mph in Game 3. In five of his seven strikeouts on the day, the last pitch was a slider, mostly in the high 120s to low 130s mph. In the top of the third inning against Kwon Hee-dong, he threw a short, fast slider at 135 mph for the first pitch and then a slower slider at 129 mph for the final pitch.

Lotte’s Park Se-woong pitches against the Sajik NC on March 3. /Photo=Lotte Giants
He then struggled against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 9th, giving up six runs (three earned) in 2⅓ innings without any help from his defense, but against SSG, he continued to pitch steadily, perfecting his slow slider. Park himself said, “I think of it as a slider and throw it,” but the movement is more like a sweeper (a slider that maximizes side-to-side movement). Park said, “There is a difference in grip and throwing method. I’m preparing for it, but it’s important to make it my own,” he said.

In addition to the new pitches, Park worked hard to get out of his slump. “I thought about what could be wrong with me,” he said. “I thought more about my pitching patterns and fighting counts than I did about my pitching form.” “The team also said, ‘If the ball moves a lot in the strike zone, the results are often good,’ so I pitched with that in mind.”
Lotte pleased with Park’s ‘return to form,’ stabilizes starting lineup to continue fight for top five

Park Se-woong. /Photo=Lotte Giants
Park’s return to form is good news for Lotte, which is still fighting for a spot in the top five. The Giants are in seventh place, two games behind the fifth-place Doosan Bears, with a season winning percentage of 0.485 as of the 15th. While the team is no longer the top contender they were in the first half of the season, it’s still too early to count them out of the postseason.

It’s especially encouraging that the starting lineup is finding some stability. After struggling with foreign starters in the first half of the season, Lotte removed Dan Straily and brought in Aaron Wilkerson. In the second half, Wilkerson has pitched well with a 1.88 ERA in four games. SSG manager Kim Won-hyung, who threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Wilkerson on the sixth, gave him high praise, saying, “I watched the next game, and he’s a good pitcher.” Charlie Barnes is also playing the role of ace with a 4-0 record and a 1.15 ERA in the same period.

Lotte is also looking forward to the return of “April MVP” Na Kyun-ahn, who was sidelined with a left hamstring strain before the Gwangju KIA game on April 30. He made his return to action on the 15th in a Futures League game against the KIA Tigers at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan, giving up three runs on four hits with five strikeouts in three innings. With the starting lineup slowly finding its groove, Lotte is on the upswing, with even Park Se-woong pitching well.

Park Se-woong. /Photo=Lotte Giants

Park Se-woong. /Photo=Lotte Giants

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