After being suspended for 104 minutes due to a sudden downpour, the first-place game was completed before midnight thanks to a strong performance by LG’s closer Ko Woo-seok (25).
Game 5 of the three-game midweek series between LG and KT in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ took place at KT Wiz Park in Suwon. The game was suspended at 7:44 p.m., when the top of the fourth inning was underway, due to heavy rain.
The game was suspended for a total of 104 minutes, the longest suspension of the season. It was 12 minutes shy of the longest suspension in KBO history, which was 116 minutes between Samsung and Vingrae on Aug. 15, 1987, and KT and Hanwha on July 23, 2022.
With LG leading 4-2, the game was interrupted by a stoppage. When the game resumed 104 minutes later, they faltered, allowing KT to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning. KT tied the game at 4-4 with a run-scoring home run by Choi Jae-dae and an RBI single by Hwang Jae-gyun.
However, LG scored a run in the top of the sixth inning to take the lead again. Hong Chang-ki led off with a double to left-center field, and Kim Hyun-soo followed with a single to center field to set the tone.
Despite KT’s dogged pursuit, LG’s solid bullpen secured the victory, especially Go Woo-seok, who entered the game with runners on first and second in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 5-4 lead.
He took the mound with the tying run on base, but he was able to keep his composure. He induced a three-pitch double play against the first batter, Lee Ho-yeon, to end the threat.
He went on to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, giving up just one hit to secure the win. Go ended the rain-shortened game at 11:31 p.m. with no extra innings.
After the game, he was the first to thank the stadium officials. Officials had been working on the field for about an hour from 8:30 a.m., when the rain stopped, and the game was able to resume normally.
“The game was very long, and I want to thank the officials here for their hard work,” he said. “I was a little worried about the ground conditions, but I didn’t lose as much as I thought I would,” he said, adding, “The mound condition got better and better as I pitched, and I think I felt good.”
Ko recorded five outs for the first time this year to earn his 13th save of the season (3-6). He thanked his defense for helping him “get through a difficult game with a lot of help,” and then laughed when he said, “I threw with the idea of not going past 12 o’clock at night.”
Out of his 22 pitches, 14 were fastballs, and he also threw a mix of changeups, including five sliders and three curves. However, all of the pitches that Go Woo-seok caught except for Hwang Jae-gyun were sliders.
Before the game, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop pointed out that “Go Woo-seok’s strength is his fastball, but his changeup ratio has been too high lately.” On the second day of the game, Jamsil Hanwha also lost with two runs in ⅔ of an inning due to the changeup.
“Of course, I understood what the coach said,” he said, “but I was stubborn, so I just threw it,” he explained.
He was so confident that he stuck with his changeup. “Sliders are the pitches with the lowest risk of being hit,” he said, adding, “I think the manager didn’t see much of my pitches because I was out for a long time due to injury.”
Regarding the poor performance against Hanwha, he lamented, “I felt the balance was off.” “When I threw a ball that hit Choi Jae-hoon, my legs were twisted,” he said, adding, “It was an experience I hadn’t felt in a long time, and I was very angry.”
“There might be a problem with the ball mix, but that’s an afterthought,” he insisted. “It’s most important not to lose balance when pitching,” he added, “and I want to throw my best pitches.”메이저놀이터
While LG has been on a winning streak this season, Ko has had some setbacks due to injuries. “I had a similar experience after going to the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, so it’s okay,” he said, “I’ll play with the idea that I can be shaky but not fall apart.”