Oh Seung-hwan (41, Samsung Lions), the best firefighter in professional baseball history, successfully finished his first start in 19 seasons of his debut.
Oh Seung-hwan started as a starting pitcher in the home game against Kiwoom Heroes held at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on the 3rd and recorded 5 hits (1 home run), 6 strikeouts and 3 runs in 5 innings. Oh’s start is the first since his 2005 pro debut.
Along with this, Oh Seung-hwan broke all records for the most innings, pitches (73), hits, and strikeouts in one individual game. His previous most innings were 4 innings and the most pitches were 59, all of which were in 2005 when he was a rookie.
Not only this. Seung-hwan Oh, who started at the age of 40 years, 9 months and 18 days, broke the record of the oldest starting pitcher (38 years, 9 months, 13 days) set by Park Chan-ho (then Hanwha Eagles) on April 12, 2012 in 11 years.
Oh Seung-hwan is a ‘living legend’ who holds the record for the most saves (374) and the most saves (47) in a single season in the KBO League메이저놀이터. He also holds the record for most saves in the postseason (13) and most saves in the Korean Series (11).
He has been a professional bullpen pitcher since his first year. He played only as a relief pitcher in the major leagues and Japanese professional baseball, as well as in 620 KBO league games. However, he was noticeably shaken this season, recording 1 win, 1 loss, 4 saves and an ERA of 4.50 in the preceding 10 games. In the end, he had to hand over his closer position to left-handed pitcher Lee Seung-hyun.
Coach Park Jin-man and coach Jung Hyeon-wook considered pitcher Oh Seung-hwan’s presence and symbolism, and thought about how to break the loop of sluggishness and find a breakthrough. The starting lineup is a desperate solution that the three people found by putting their heads together. Oh Seung-hwan prepared for the start for a week after playing against the Daegu Doosan Bears on the 26th of last month.
Seung-hwan Oh struggled by throwing 21 balls in the first inning alone, as if he was unfamiliar with his first appearance in the first inning of his debut. He caught the first batter Lee Jung-hoo with a grounder in front of the pitcher, but was hit by a double to left center by rookie Park Chan-hyuk. Then, left-handed hitter Kim Hye-seong threw a cut fastball from 1 out and 2 base, and allowed a 2-run home run that went over the right fence.
Oh Seung-hwan also gave up a double in the middle right to the next hitter, Addison Russell, sending three consecutive extra-base hits. However, he caught the follow-up batters Lee Won-seok and Lee Hyeong-jong safely and took a breath.
Oh Seung-hwan also conceded a run in the second inning. After getting two outs with consecutive strikeouts, he was hit by a right-handed hit by Lee Ji-young and a timely double hit by Lee Jung-hoo. However, this timely hit was the last crisis and conceded. Afterwards, Seung-Hwan Oh showed off his power by hitting 10 batters in a row for 3 1/3 innings.
Coach Park Jin-man replaced Oh Seung-hwan with Choong-yeon Choi as the pitcher in the top of the 6th inning, which was behind 1-3, considering the number of pitches. Oh Seung-hwan’s historic first start ended with a half-success. If Samsung can’t turn the game around and ends like this, Seung-hwan Oh will record his first starting loss in his debut.