“Being a human being, it’s more unfortunate that it ended like this.”

So said Yang Hyun-jong (36) of the KIA Tigers after the 2023 season.

Their streak of consecutive 10-win seasons came to a halt after nine seasons. The team won 10 games in nine consecutive years, starting with 16 in 2014 and ending with 12 in 2022. Last year, however, the Tigers went 9-11, one win shy of matching the record of 10 consecutive 10-win seasons set by his idol, KT Wiz manager Lee Kang-cheol, during his playing days. “If I had finished (the season) with eight wins, I would have thought fondly, ‘I need to prepare well for next year,’ but because I’m human, I think it’s more disappointing to finish with nine wins,” Yang said. “My goal in baseball was to break his records one by one. “I didn’t achieve one of his records,” he said, “and I still feel like I’m not good enough to surpass him. I still think I’m not good enough to surpass him,” he said.

Still, Yang is a man of records.

Last year, Yang racked up a number of significant records. He became the youngest player in the KBO to win 160 games, made the most starts, won the most games, tied for second on the all-time wins list, reached 100 innings for the 10th consecutive season and the second time in history, struck out 1,900 batters, recorded triple-digit strikeouts for the third time in nine seasons, pitched 2300 innings for the third time in history, and pitched 170 innings for the ninth consecutive season.

This year, the streak continues. 바카라사이트 The records for most career starts (383) and most career wins (166) will be updated with each start and win that Yang makes this season. With 101 more strikeouts, he will match Song Jin-woo’s KBO record for most strikeouts in a career (2,048).

More important than the record, though, is the number of wins the native ace will accumulate. As the core of the starting staff, the team’s performance will follow if the expected innings and wins are fulfilled.

Last year, only Lee Yi-ri (22-11) had double-digit wins for KIA. Both foreign pitchers were replaced before the end of the first half, with Yang Hyun-jong stuck at nine wins. Rookie Yoon Young-chul (20) was the only consolation with eight wins, but the lack of a 10-win pitcher, considered a “team win guarantee,” was one of the reasons KIA failed to make it to fall baseball.

Yang is still regarded as a pitcher capable of reaching double-digit wins.

He’s now in his late 30s, and while some say his pitches and velocity have deteriorated, he overcomes this with his fastball and seasoned defense. He’s also got plenty of innings under his belt, having topped 170 innings in nine consecutive seasons. However, the key to getting back to 10 wins will be how to overcome the ups and downs in the second half of the season, as well as the 2.79 runs scored, which was below the league average (3.23) last year.

“No matter how good the record is, it doesn’t matter if the team is not performing well,” Yang said. “It’s my job, my goal, my promise to myself to stay healthy and pitch 170 innings next year. Our team is good enough to go up (to fall baseball),” he said, vowing to rebound this season. His resurgence is a leap forward for KIA.

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