Koo Seung-min (33), the pillar of Lotte’s bullpen in professional baseball, set a milestone.
Koo Seung-min harvested 20 holds of the season in an away match against Hanwha in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 31st. He pitched as the third pitcher in the bottom of the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead and pitched well with one strikeout and no runs in one inning.
On this day, Koo Seung-min met Noh Si-hwan, who is ranked No. 1 in home runs (29) this season, as the first batter. After the sixth pitch, he made a good start by striking out by inducing a swing with a slider.
In the subsequent showdown with Chae Eun-sung, he caught a fly ball with the first pitch, and Lee Jin-young threw a fastball for the fourth pitch to get a ground ball. Koo Seung-min, who made a clean three-way retirement inning, came down from the mound with hold conditions.
As a result, Koo Seung-min added one hold to achieve 20 holds of the season. After Ahn Ji-man in the 2012-2015 season, he became the second player to record 20 holds for four consecutive seasons.
Starting with 20 holds in the 2020 season, Koo Seung-min recorded 20 holds in the 2021 season and 26 in the 2022 season, recording more than 20 holds in three consecutive seasons. He has also played more than 50 games and played more than 60 innings over the past three seasons, consistently playing as Lotte’s must-win group.
This season, he was also responsible for 58 games (54⅓) innings) and has definitely established himself as a “trusted player.” He has 2 wins, 5 losses, 20 holds, 3 saves, and a 3.81 ERA. In the match against Doosan Bears in Jamsil on July 26, Lotte achieved 100 holds for the first time in its history.
There have been many bullpen pitchers who have played in the KBO League, but few players have maintained strong pitching and physical management at the same time. Koo Seung-min’s record is even more meaningful.
If he continues to play in the next season, he will be able to achieve 20 holds for five consecutive seasons for the first time in the KBO League. Koo Seung-min’s challenge for the new history of the KBO League is expected to continue.