This ‘walk’ is working…SSG Wonseok Oh “As long as it’s not too often…”

“I think (Oh) Won-seok will pitch well today.”

This is what SSG Landers head coach Lee Sung-yong said about starting pitcher Oh Won-seok ahead of his team’s game against the Kiwoom Heroes on Nov. 31. Lee’s expectations were justified, as no manager would say that his pitcher would not be able to pitch.

“Yesterday, I waited until (Oh) Won-seok finished training and we went for a walk,” Lee said, adding, “Interviews are hard, so I talked about this and that and gave him some tips, but I don’t know how he’ll feel.”

And the “walk effect” seemed to be working quite well. Oh Won-seok, as expected by his manager, pitched well and was a key part of the team’s winning streak after back-to-back losses.

SSG won 4-2 against Kiwoom in the Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League 2024 at the Gocheok SkyDome in Seoul on March 31.

Starting pitcher Oh Won-seok pitched six innings of three-hit ball (one home run), one walk, eight strikeouts, and two earned runs to shut down the Kiwoom bats. It was his second quality start of the season (6+ innings, 3 earned runs or less) and his third win in four starts.

“It was the first time we talked since we met in spring training,” Oh said, “It’s not too often, but it’s good to talk to the manager every once in a while.”

His ‘tip’ was simple. “He said, ‘Don’t try to be too good. He told me, ‘Don’t try to be too good.

It wasn’t a big “trade secret,” but Lee’s advice to 사설토토 keep the young pitcher’s spirits up and give him confidence worked.

On the day, Oh allowed just three hits until the sixth inning and struck out eight. Most importantly, he gave up only one walk.

He struck out the side in the fifth inning to end the game, and in the sixth inning, he gave up a solo home run to Kim Hye-sung with two outs, but was able to retire the next batter, Lee Joo-hyung, to end the game.

“There are always a lot of crises in the fifth and sixth innings, so I think the manager or coach would be nervous,” Oh said. “After repeating it a few times, it became a ritual and I thought about it a lot, so I thought it would be better to just be comfortable.”

“Anyway, it’s something I have to overcome myself to grow as a starting pitcher. Crises are bound to come, but how you handle them is important,” he emphasized.

Oh, who said he’s “always happy” to take a walk with his commander, revealed his true feelings toward the end of the interview. “Now that we’ve won (today), why don’t you do it?” he laughed.

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