At 38 years old, 6 innings, 73 pitches QS, 3G consecutive starts in 1906 days… Retirement crisis→Return to Fantastic 4 status

He’s no longer labeled a backup. Jang Won-jun (38, Doosan) is now a pillar of the Doosan Bears’ starting rotation.

Jang started Game 6 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park on Wednesday and pitched six innings 토토사이트 of three-hit ball, striking out two and walking none to improve to 3-0 on the season and earn his 132nd career victory.

The first and second innings were highlighted by crisis management. After giving up a leadoff single to Seo Ho-cheol in the first inning, he retired Park Min-woo, and in the second, he walked Park Gun-woo to lead off the inning, then struck out Jason Martin on a wild pitch and retired Kim Sung-wook.

After the first triple in the third inning to make it 5-0, Seo Ho-cheol doubled and Big Min-woo singled to put runners in scoring position for the first time in the fourth inning. Jang Won-jun got Park Gun-woo to ground out to shortstop to end the threat.

Jang entered the fifth inning with a 7-0 lead. He gave up a leadoff single to Martin, but struck out Kim Sung-wook on three pitches and retired Yoon Hyung-joon and Park Se-hyuk on consecutive pitches. He then took the mound in the sixth inning and fired a 12-pitch shutout to complete his first quality start since May 5, 2018, when he threw a six-inning no-hitter against LG Electronics.

Jang Won-jun was replaced by Kim Min-kyu, who retired in the seventh inning with a 9-0 lead, and ended the game on a high note. He threw 73 pitches. He used a 139-kilometer fastball with a slider, changeup, fastball, and curveball to shut down the NC bats.

Facing the prospect of retirement after the 2022 season, Jang Won-jun met with new manager Lee Seung-yup in October last year and expressed his desire to extend his career. Sensing his sincerity, Lee said, “We lack a left-handed pitcher, so I want you to play a role. It would be a dishonor for a pitcher with 129 wins to try out for another team and not work out. I’m not asking him to quit if he doesn’t want to retire,” he said.

The meeting eight months ago turned out to be a gesture of faith. Jang Won-jun, who hadn’t won a single game in the past four years, has a 100 percent win percentage after three games this season. On May 23 against Samsung in Jamsil, he became the first pitcher to win in 1844 days since May 5, 2018, against LG Electronics to reach 130 career wins, the 11th all-time and the fourth left-hander to do so, and continued the momentum with a 5⅓-inning, one-run victory against Hanwha in Jamsil on June 6.

Jang Won-jun became the second oldest pitcher in history to reach 130 career wins with a start at 37 years, 10 months, and 13 days old. The previous record was held by Hanwha’s Song Jin-woo at 38 years, 2 months, and 25 days on May 11, 2004 against Daejeon Samsung. He also passed Bae Young-soo for fifth place on the career wins list by one win and moved into 10th place on the all-time wins list (fourth among lefties). He is two wins behind SSG manager Kim Won-hyung (134), who is in ninth place. Jang Won-jun came back from the brink of retirement to lead the Fantastic Four.

After the game, Jang Won-jun said, “I definitely feel a lot more relaxed than in my first appearance. The more I throw, the better the results and the more confidence I have. After reaching 130 wins, I don’t have any regrets about the victory, but I am quickly securing the victory with the help of the beasts.” “I will continue to increase the number of outs with the thought that the batter I face is the last,” he said.

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