With a weekend doubleheader schedule, Doosan needs one more starting pitcher. Desperate for fall baseball, manager Lee Seung-yeop asked for an SOS not from young pitchers like Kim Dong-joo and Park Shin-ji, but from Jang Won-jun (38), a “132-win left-hander” who has been out of the first team since June 28. All eyes will be on the outcome of romantic baseball, which resumes after 73 days.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop met with reporters at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 7th and said, “Jang Won-jun’s starting spot for the first game of the doubleheader against Samsung on the 9th has been confirmed. He recently joined the team and practiced bullpen pitching.”
Doosan will play four games at home against Samsung, including a doubleheader, from Aug. 8 to 10. With the doubleheader scheduled for two games in one day on the ninth, the team needed an extra starter, and manager Lee Seung-yeop once again requested an SOS for Jang Won-jun, whose romantic baseball career was suspended on June 28 after the Jamsil NC game.
When asked what reports he had received about Jang Won-jun, Lee replied, “I heard that he was going back and forth a little bit,” and added, “But Kim Dong-ju didn’t show good form, and Park Shin-ji pitched in the sixth game because the game was delayed by rain, so I decided on Jang Won-jun. When the team is struggling, veterans are more likely to perform well. I wanted Jang Won-jun to pitch well as a big brother,” he said, explaining why he called him up.
Jang Won-jun, who was on the verge of retirement after the 2022 season, met with manager Lee Seung-yeop in October last year to extend his active duty.
After a stellar spring training in Australia, Jang became a key part of Doosan’s starting lineup early in the season. A player who hadn’t won a game in the previous four years has exceeded expectations with a 3-2 record and a 5.48 ERA in five games. He emerged as the anchor of the rotation at a time when the established starters were groaning under the weight of injuries and poor performance, and won three straight games to reach the 132-win plateau in his career. It was a moment that moved him into 10th place on the KBO’s all-time wins list (3rd on the active list).
However, Jang’s flame was short-lived. After a six-inning no-hitter against the Changwon NC on June 13, he took three days off before returning to the mound against the LG on June 18, but he gave up seven runs and six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings, and then took the loss against the Jamsil NC on June 28 after giving up two runs in 3⅔ innings.
Jang Won-jun continued to work his way into the starting rotation in the Futures League and dreamed of the day when romantic baseball would resume. True to his manager’s word, he suffered from frequent ups and downs, but he regained his form with three scoreless innings against KT on August 22 and three innings of two-run ball against KIA on August 31. It’s been 73 days since Jang’s first start since June 28 against the Jamsil NC.
Jang has good memories against Samsung this year. In his first start of the season on May 23 in Jamsil, his first start in 958 days since October 7, 2020 against SK (now SSG), he pitched five innings and gave up four runs, his first win in 1844 days since May 5, 2018 against LG Electronics, becoming the 11th pitcher in history and the fourth left-hander to reach 130 career wins. This game marked Jang Won-jun’s resurgence.메이저사이트
Doosan is in sixth place, three games behind fifth-place KIA, and looking for the final ticket to the postseason. The win over KIA on Sunday snapped a three-game losing streak and restored their five-game winning percentage, but a 2-5 record in their last seven games hasn’t helped them close the gap on the fifth-place team. It will be interesting to see if Jang Won-jun can become a late-season hero like he did earlier in the season and keep Doosan’s hopes alive for fall baseball.