“I was told it was a first. I didn’t think too much about it, and I thought that if I pitched well, the wins would come. It feels good to achieve a good record, and I want to thank my teammates.”
Ko Young-pyo (31-KT Wiz) made team history.
Ko Young-pyo pitched seven innings of six-hit ball with one walk, five strikeouts and one run against the Doosan Bears in the 2023 KBO League regular season at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on June 6 to lead his team to a 10-5 victory and improve to 5-0 on the season.
The 10 wins were especially significant. It was the first 10-win pitcher in three consecutive years for KT, which joined the first team in 2015 after its founding. Until this day, only Ko Young-pyo (2021~2022), William Cuevas (2019~2020), Choi Jeong-seong (2019~2020), and Odrisamer Despaigne (2020~2021) had achieved 10 wins in two consecutive years, but his 10 wins set a new record.
“I just realized that it was the team’s first record,” said Ko Young-pyo to the media after the game, “I wasn’t too conscious of it, and I thought that if I pitched well, the win would come. I’m happy to have achieved a good record, and I want to say thank you to my teammates,” he said, giving credit to the team.
Unlike wins, there is a record that Ko is conscious of. It’s a quality start (six or more innings pitched with three or fewer earned runs). With a quality start plus (seven or more innings and three or fewer earned runs) and a quality start, Ko has now had a quality start in his last 10 games and a quality start plus in his last five games. His 14th quality start of the season is also a personal best.
“I’m conscious of the record (unlike wins). That’s always my mission, because I aim for that record and play consciously on the mound to fight for a fast count and finish the inning with fewer pitches.” “I want to make more than 20 quality starts this year, and I want to make more than 16 quality starts plus this season,” he said.
One of the secrets of innings pitched is concentration. Instead of having the mindset of throwing long pitches, Ko said he focuses on each at-bat. “When I enter the sixth inning, I honestly don’t think about digesting a long inning. I pitch with the mindset of getting each batter out. If you get past the halfway point of the game, you have to get them through (to the next pitcher). Even in the seventh inning, I try to throw one pitch at a time to each batter.”
KT, which was in last place at the start of the season, is now in the thick of the race for third place. When the press asked Ko Young-pyo about his contributions, he laughed and said, “I should brag about myself,” and added, “I think I’ve thrown more than seven innings in five consecutive games. I’m sure coach Lee Kang-cheol is counting on that, and the middle relievers can get more rest because they only need to finish two innings to win. I think I had an impact on the team to get the snowball rolling (in a positive direction).”메이저사이트
There is an influence that Ko himself recognizes. The innings pitched by KT’s starters have been contagious. “It created an atmosphere for the juniors to pitch aggressively and aggressively instead of running away. “I think I may have influenced them in that regard,” he said. “There is an image in our starting lineup that if other starters pitch well in front of me, I should do well as well. If you don’t go six innings, you didn’t do it. The younger guys say, ‘You made me do that.’ It’s a good synergy. If the other pitchers eat long innings with as few pitches as possible, KT will keep going up,” he laughed.
The game left KT in fourth place with a .527 winning percentage, four games behind second-place SSG Landers. It’s not close, but KT has come from the bottom to this point. It’s not too far away. When I asked Ko about the team’s goals, he said, “We’re only this far because we don’t have a ranking mentality.” “I think we came up by focusing on each game and focusing on the next game. If you think about the rankings, you’re going to be chased and rushed. We did our best in our respective positions, and that’s KT’s strength.” However, he laughed, “In sports, of course, I want to be number one, and I want to be number one. I always want to be number one. That’s my goal in my heart.”