A huge wave of sound. The decibel was different. Unrealistic cheers, never heard before in a baseball stadium, filled Jamsil Bee.
Park Dong-won saved the LG Twins.
With his team trailing 3-4 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Park hit a two-run homer to left field to give LG a 5-4 victory.
LG’s gutsy decision to mobilize its bullpen in the face of a poor performance from its trusted starting pitcher tied the 2023 KBO League Korea Series at 1-1.
Game 8 at Jamsil Stadium.
Just like the first game a day earlier, the stands were filled with LG colors.
LG fans in black glossy jumpers and yellow mufflers filled not only first base but also the visiting third base bleachers.
However, it was a four-run deficit from the start, as trusted starter Choi Won-tae gave up two runs with one out, and Lee Jung-yong, who was rushed to the mound, was unable to stop the tying run.
LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop had no other choice but to bring in ‘Pil Seung-jo’ Jung Woo-young in the top of the third inning.
After that, all of LG’s bullpen, including Kim Jin-sung, Baek Seung-hyun, Yoo Young-chan, and Ham Deok-ju, were used.
Commentator Jung Min-cheol analyzed the situation, saying, “In the situation where the starting lineup collapsed early, LG’s bullpen was the best in the world, and coach Yeom’s plan was to prevent any more runs and catch up.”
Fateful 8th inning.
KT kept Park Young-hyun on the mound after two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Young-hyun Park had frozen LG’s bats in the ninth inning of Game 1.
However, the young national team pitcher who had been working nonstop since the playoffs was also human.
It was just a glimpse of how much pressure the Tigers would feel throughout the night and into the top of the eighth inning of Game 2, after losing Game 1 with their trusted ace, Kelly, and a cliffhanger tactic with an unexpected starter’s collapse.
Park Dong-won, a free agent acquisition from the KIA Tigers for 6.5 billion won after finishing last season, was seen as the answer to LG’s bullpen woes.
Yeom, who had a great rapport with Park during their time with the Heroes, showed him such affection and trust that he gave up the manager’s chair on the bench during the pennant race.
In a moment of desperation, Park responded with an upset that gave LG its first Korean Series victory in 21 years.
The one move that changed the course of the series beyond Game 2. 6.5 billion won, he got his money’s worth with this one.