After 10 games, I was going crazy. Neither my parents nor my younger brother could call me.”아톰카지노
It was a long, long 737 days. Samsung Lions left-handed pitcher Choi Chae-heung (28) announced his revival. Choi Chae-heung started the game against the LG Twins in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on the 28th and reported his first win of the season by pitching well in 6 innings, 94 pitches, 6 hits, 1 out, 4 strikeouts, and 1 run (non-earned). As for the starting win, it has been 737 days since the Sajik Lotte Giants game (6 ⅓ innings, 4 runs) on September 21, 2021, and including relief wins, it has been 698 days since the Changwon NC Dinos game (4 ⅓ innings, no runs) on October 30, 2021. It was. Samsung defeated leader LG 11-1 thanks to Choi Chae-heung’s good pitching.
Choi Chae-heung graduated from Hanyang University and joined Samsung as a first-round pick in 2018, and has steadily grown as a left-handed starting pitcher. In 2020, he established himself as a left-handed ace, going 11 wins, 6 losses, 146 innings, and a 3.58 ERA in 26 games. After a somewhat sluggish performance in the 2021 season with 5 wins, 9 losses, 122⅓ innings, and an ERA of 4.56, he joined the Sangmu Department and sharpened his skills again, and took on a role in the starting lineup as soon as he was discharged from the military in June of this year. This means that Samsung coach Park Jin-man’s expectations were high.
He had no idea that one win would be so desperate. Choi Chae-heung earned his first win of the season after only 15 games of the season. Before this day, he suffered only 7 losses in 14 games, struggling with an ERA of 7.38 in 57⅓ innings. The quality start was only conducted once.
Before the game, Coach Park said, “I pitched consistently after being discharged from Sangmu, but since it was a Futures League game in Sangmu, there might have been a difference in concentration or something like that. Unlike the 1st team, there are games at intervals, and the 1st team has to play consistently. “There is also a physical problem. I think we will need to improve our physical strength starting from the final training of this season,” he said.
He continued, “The downside is that the power of the fastball has to be higher than before enlistment. That way, you can make use of the breaking ball, which is your strength. I think I will have to make up for those things through this finishing camp and next year’s spring camp. In the current situation, what I lack as a starting pitcher is “There are a lot,” he added.
He even mentioned competition with right-handed pitcher Yuk Seon-yeop (18, Jangchung High School), who was selected in the first round of the 2024 rookie draft. Coach Park said, “We need to prepare that much. As it stands now, it is difficult to say how many starters (Choi Chae-heung) will be next year. I think a lot of preparation will be needed this winter and next spring. Originally, we excluded rookies during spring camp, but they “When the condition or situation arises, we plan to take pitchers to the first team camp. We have to compete with all such players. (Choi Chae-heung) has many shortcomings, so we have to compete,” he said calmly.
Coincidentally, Choi Chae-heung pitched well on the day Coach Park criticized him. When Choi Chae-heung was asked after the game whether Coach Park’s cold evaluation stimulated him, he laughed and replied, “I don’t read the articles these days.” He continued, “I’m glad. Now, I have to continue to do well from now on. I feel like I’ve found some direction. I was frustrated because I kept researching bad things and didn’t know what the cause was. Now I think I know the cause, so I think it’s good. Even if the fastball speed is low, it has to have power. “I didn’t have the strength to do it and the angle of the ball wasn’t good, so I ended up hitting a lot of balls off center and my confidence seemed to have dropped a lot. I tried hard to change that,” he added.
The cause of the problem identified by Choi Chae-heung was the movement of the center of gravity. He said, “I have been preparing since I was at Sangmu this season, so I tried many things because I wanted to increase my speed. At Sangmu, I couldn’t watch the video of my throwing, so I just did it based on my feel. I thought that was the right method because I used my strength well, but it went in a bad direction. “When I came out and looked at my pitching form, it wasn’t in the direction I wanted. But I had to play, so I did it, but my breaking ball wasn’t as good as I wanted and my fastball didn’t go as well as I wanted, so I had to do more research,” he confessed.
He continued, “I was wondering what the cause was from the last game, and suddenly my attention fell on the movement of the center of gravity. As I changed the movement of the center of gravity, I felt like I was using more force and gaining strength. After throwing in the last game, I thought this was the cause and prepared well. Today, I hit the ball again. “I think I had power, and I think the breaking ball landed as well as I wanted,” he added, expressing satisfaction.
It was even more valuable because it was a victory achieved after solving a difficult problem. Choi Chae-heung said, “I thought the 2021 season was really difficult, and I thought it couldn’t be any more difficult, but it was even more difficult this year. I felt that baseball shouldn’t be taken lightly,” and “It was a very difficult season this year, and I was very disappointed in myself.” “I think I was so relieved. I will prepare well starting this winter so that I can do even better next year,” he gritted his teeth.
He also expressed his apologies to his family, who were worried about Choi Chae-heung’s difficulties. He said, “I really wondered if it could be this difficult. It was so hard, I couldn’t call my family, and my parents and younger brother couldn’t call me because they were watching me. So I told my family not to do that and to make it easier, but it was a very difficult time. “I won,” he said, expressing that he feels a little relieved now.
We were grateful to Coach Park for predicting competition for next season and pledged to live up to expectations next year. Choi Chae-heung said, “I’m really grateful that you gave me many opportunities even though I’m not doing well. I don’t feel offended even though you say a lot of harsh words. Because you’re saying the right things. I’ll do better in the future.”
Coach Park said after the game, “Choi Chae-heung finally got his first win since being discharged from the military. I congratulate him and hope that he will continue to show a solid performance like today (28th) until the end of the season.”