Yang Hyun-jong (35-KIA Tigers) holds the Tigers’ franchise records for most wins (161), most strikeouts (1858), and most innings pitched (2205 and two-thirds). All three categories rank among the top three all-time.
We asked Yang which record he is most attached to before his game against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on April 24. “The most important thing for me since I was a young player (in the professional ranks) was to pitch a lot of innings,” Yang said without hesitation. “When Lee Kang-chul (KT Wiz) was the pitching coach of KIA, he taught me that ‘starting pitchers should be responsible for many innings,’ and the senior pitchers told me the same thing. I have the desire to pitch more innings,” he said.
Yang has gone seven innings or more in four of his seven games this season. Against the Gwangju Kiwoom Heroes on April 21, he was shaky in the top of the seventh inning, giving up a run and throwing more than 100 pitches. Kia manager Kim Jong-kook said, “Yang Hyun-jong doesn’t give up his innings even when he’s not winning.”
As of the 25th, Yang is tied with Jung Min-cheol (MBC Sportsplus commentator) for second place in the “most career wins” category (161). He needs one more win to take sole possession of second place. The record holder is Song Jin-woo (former Hanwha coach) with 210 wins.
Yang isn’t overly concerned with the number of wins, though. “It’s a combination of things,” he says. My form has to be good, the batsmen have to be hitting well, and the defense has to be solid. You have to be lucky. You can’t do it on your own,” he said. “I think it’s because I tried to play a lot of innings in every game that I ended up with more than 160 wins in my career.
Yang would love to break the record for most wins. However, he’s not as “greedy” as Inning. “Arithmetically, I need to consistently win more than 10 games in the next few years to reach Song Jin-woo’s record (210 wins). Since the plateau is not right in front of me, I don’t have the impatience to say, ‘I’ll do it,'” he said.
For Yang, the 162nd win is a milestone. The KIA batters seem to be aware of this. In Yang’s last two starts, the bats have frozen. They haven’t scored a run in the 12 and a third innings he’s been on the mound. Manager Kim Jong-kook said, “The batters know from the media that (Yang) can be second on the all-time wins list. If he thinks, ‘I have to win,’ he might be more rigid at the plate.” 토토사이트
Yang apologizes. He feels like his record is affecting his teammates’ performance. “I don’t mind if I don’t add a few more wins, but my teammates seem to be conscious of it. I don’t want them to feel pressured,” he said, but then laughed, “If that’s the case, I think the best way is for me to add a win sooner rather than later, and I hope it’s sooner rather than later.”
Yang Hyun-jong is scheduled to play the second game of a three-game weekend series against the LG Twins at home (Gwangju-Kia Champions Field) on the 27th. As of the 25th, the team is leading the league in batting average (0.291). Yang gave up three runs in five innings against LG on April 28.