Seung-hwan Oh pitched one scoreless inning in relief against the NC Dinos in the sixth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, on 6 June to collect his eighth save of the season.안전놀이터
With his 378th career save in the KBO, Oh reached 500 saves in his Korean-American career, including 80 in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB-2) and 42 in Major League Baseball (MLB-4). He is the first Korean-American to record 500 career saves in professional baseball.
Oh Seung-hwan was the fifth pitcher to take the mound, after starting pitchers Baek Jung-hyun (5 innings), Kim Tae-hoon (⅔ innings), Hong Jung-woo (1⅓ innings) and left-hander Lee Seung-hyun (1 inning). With his team leading 9-6 in the top of the ninth, Oh gave up a leadoff single to Son As-seob, but retired the next batter, Seo Ho-cheol, on a straight hit to the second baseman. With two outs, he threw directly to first base on Jason Martin’s grounder to short for the final out.
Oh has been the team’s go-to closer since 2005, his first year as a professional, posting double-digit saves in five straight years. In 2007, he set the record for 100 saves in the shortest amount of games (180) in KBO history, and in 2012, he surpassed former Chung-Ang University coach Kim Yong-soo’s 227 career saves to become the KBO’s all-time leader.
After playing in Japan and the United States, Oh returned to the KBO in 2020 and showed off his rusty skills. In 2021 (44 saves), he became the first pitcher in a decade to record 40 saves in a single season.
However, Oh struggled early in the season and was relegated to the closer’s role. In early May, he had a breakthrough with his “first start of the season”. Seung-hwan Oh threw 73 pitches in five innings against the Daegu Kiwoom Heroes on the 3rd of last month, and he started to improve.
Samsung manager Park Jin-man, who met with him before the Incheon SSG Landers game on the 1st, said, “I think the end of the ball is much better than before I went down to the second team. If the fastball is alive, the changeup will also be alive. I think I can definitely see the aggressiveness.” He also looked at Oh Seung-hwan’s rebound positively.
Seung-hwan Oh made his first save since returning to the first team against the NC Dinos of Changwon on the 19th of last month, and he also collected one save against the SSG Landers of Incheon on the 31st and the Hanwha Eagles of Daejeon on the 2nd of June, taking one step closer to the record. And he finally made it in front of his home fans.