‘-14 to +11’ Fast Rise, 2nd place is on the horizon…”If you get greedy, you get stuck” Ahn Bang Ma’s advice

“I don’t think you should be greedy. If you’re greedy, you’ll make a lot of mistakes.”

Jang Sung-woo started as the fourth outfielder against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on Sunday.

From the first at-bat, Jang’s bat was on fire. In the top of the first inning, with runners on first and second, he took a slider from opposing starter Brandon Waddell and hit a 115-meter three-run home run (his ninth of the season) over the left field fence to give his team a 3-0 lead.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the top of the third inning, he hit a two-run double to right-center field to make it 5-3. In the top of the fifth inning, he hit a bases-loaded single to center field to make it 6-3. In his final at-bat, Jang continued his hot hitting with a single to left field with one out in the top of the ninth inning. He ended up going 4-for-5 with one home run, five RBI and one run scored. He helped his team to a 9-8 victory.

After the game, Jang said, “I jokingly said, ‘How can you score so many runs when Jang is hitting four?’ “I jokingly said, ‘How can Jang Sung-woo bat No. 4 and score so many runs?’ But the coach kept believing in me, and I think it paid off because we didn’t have Byung-ho (Park), so I thought of myself as the fourth hitter.

“Me and (Kim) Sang-soo have been batting badly lately, and before, when other players were batting badly, me and Sang-soo were doing well, and now, when we’re batting badly, other players are doing well and we’re winning games. We had a bad two weeks, but (the slump) has been buried. I’m also a catcher, so I focused on the starters and reducing runs, and it was bad the whole time, but it feels good to be able to contribute so much to the game today (Sunday),” he smiled.

Earlier in the season, KT fell to the bottom of the standings due to a number of injuries. With a record of 16 wins, 2 draws, 30 losses, and a win-loss margin of -14 as of June 2, a dark shadow was cast over the team, but as the season progressed, something magical happened. With the win, the team extended their winning streak to five games, improving their season record to 56-2-045 (0.554 winning percentage) and closing the gap on second-place SSG Landers (55-1-044 / 0.556 winning percentage) by two points.

There are many reasons for KT’s high-flying form, but the most prominent is the quality of its starting pitching. According to baseball statistics site Statiz, KT has the strongest starting pitching staff in the second half of the season. The starting rotation of Ko Young-pyo, William Cuevas, Wes Benjamin, Uhm Sang-baek, and Bae Jei-seong leads the league in wins (16), innings pitched (144), and ERA (2.69), among other key metrics.

Catcher Jang Sung-woo is a big part of this. While baseball is a pitcher’s game, the catcher is also a big part of the equation, as they share the battery with the pitcher throughout the game.

“It’s not just this year,” says Jang. “Every year, our team color is that our starters pitch long and pitch well. When the team started off badly, the starters struggled and the hitters went down with them. When you play a full season, there are definitely good times and bad times. I think it’s time to get better, so I think we’ve found our form,” he said, thanking his pitchers.

KT has now made the leap to the top of the standings and is on the verge of finishing second in the league, but Jang is trying not to get greedy.

“Even the players themselves say, ‘I don’t know what happened,’ from -14 to +11. It’s the same as when we were -14. We just focus on the game day by day. That’s the atmosphere. I think I’ve gotten to this point because I’ve just been doing what I’ve been doing, doing my best every day and hoping for the best. There are going to be bad days, but I think if you do the same thing even when it’s bad, you’re going to be able to reach higher,” he said.먹튀검증

“Some people might be greedy about (the rankings), but I don’t think you should be greedy. If you’re greedy, you’ll mess up a lot of your play. I’m going to do my best in every match without thinking about that,” he said, adding that he is ready for the rest of the season.

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