“In the end, I had to make the batter hit.”
Oh Won-seok (22) of SSG ‘Post Kim Gwang-hyeon’ is showing a stage of growth. Grades go up. Definitely different from the last 3 years. There was an epiphany. He is getting a sense of ‘how’ to do it.
Oh Won-seok started in the first game of the 2023 KBO League regular season Kiwoom and weekend 3 games held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 5th and became the winning pitcher by making a quality start plus (QS+) pitch with 7 innings, 5 hits, 6 strikeouts and 1 run. .
He tied for 5th in most wins with 3 wins on the season. He is 15th in the league with 34 innings pitched on the season, and his earned run average of 3.44 is 14th in the league. It would be unreasonable to call him an ‘overwhelming ace’, but this is enough to call him a top-tier selection.
It is noticeable that there is not a single sand dune. First time this season. It has been 267 days since the match against Munhak KT on August 11 last year that Oh Won-seok threw more than 5 innings as a starter and had no walks or hit balls.
He has a fast ball as a left-hander, and his pitching form, which hides his ball all the way, is excellent. Instead, he said that he was a pitcher who was relatively unsatisfied. There was talk of a lack of detail.
There were also relatively many walks. He is 4.68 walks per 9 innings over the three years through 2022 after joining in 2020. He is one of the reasons why his earned run average was as high as 5.12. He had a 4.50 earned run average on the season, up from 3.63 last year.
He is different this year. He reduced his walks to 2.65 per 9 innings. Compared to his last three years, it’s down 65%. Conversely, strikeouts increased. His strikeouts per 9 innings are 7.37 over the past three years, 7.00 last year and 8.47 this year. His earned run average is also in the range of his first 3 in his debut.
A change of idea is at the base. He doesn’t think ‘you can’t walk’, he thinks ‘let’s make the batter hit the ball’. Hitting doesn’t mean hitting all hits. There are strong beasts behind. Even if you don’t necessarily strike out, you just need to catch an out.
After winning on the 5th, Oh Won-seok said, “In the last game, my control was bad, and I couldn’t fight the count properly. He had a lot of walks. He thought of an advantageous count today, and thought of ‘Let’s play aggressively’. He wanted to make an out by making the batter hit,” he explained.
In fact, in the previous appearance, against Doosan at home on April 29, he only gave up two walks. There was one ball that hit the body. He can’t be considered very bad. Still, Oh Won-seok seems to have felt that he was ‘shaken’. He proudly produced a safe dune game. 크크크벳
Oh Won-seok said, “Ever since I warmed up in the bullpen, the feeling of the breaking ball was fine. He could be different in the game. He was concerned, too, but he threw it with the idea of just letting it type. He has what he considers the most ideal as a starting pitcher. As he pitches long innings, he hits the batter to make it a game. It seems to have become that part,” he said with a smile.
It’s simple, but it’s the hard part to do easily. Almost every starting pitcher has a ‘romance’ about striking out. Oh Won-seok is no different. But ultimately, what is most needed is ‘to throw well for a long time’.
The more strikeouts, the more pitches there are in many cases. If you catch it, it can be one ball, but it is because you need at least three strikeouts. Oh Won-seok seems to have realized this part. In fact, the ground ball/floating ball ratio also improved a lot from 0.86 last year to 1.31 this year.
That’s how Oh Won-seok fills in the missing parts. If Oh Won-seok continues to fight like this, he may continue to gain an advantage in the starting competition even with the arrival of new foreign pitcher Loenis Elias. Oh Won-seok also said, “I am trying to do my best. I’m going to pitch and try to pitch well.