Hanwha Eagles pitcher Jang Si-hwan delivered a tearful end to a three-game losing streak.
Hanwha scored 13 runs in the eighth inning to pull off a 16-6 comeback win against the Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome on Friday. Hanwha ended its recent two-game losing streak and moved back into a tie for eighth place with Kiwoom, which had a half-game lead.
Jang Si-hwan, Hanwha’s fifth pitcher of the day, entered the game in the bottom of the seventh trailing 3-6 and got Kim Hye-sung to ground out to first base, Ronnie Dawson to ground out to first base and Lee Won-seok to fly out to right field for a triple play. After Jang closed out the seventh inning, the Hanwha bats exploded.온라인바카라
Hanwha attacked for 68 minutes in the eighth inning alone. They sent 18 batters to the plate and “batted in order,” scoring 13 runs on 10 hits and five walks. Jang Si-hwan, who pitched the previous inning, naturally got the win. The next two pitchers retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth and ninth innings, ending a long 19-game losing streak.
Jang’s last win came on September 22, 2020, against Doosan in Daejeon. It was his first win in 1038 days. Since then, Jang has lost two matches in 2020, 11 in 2021, five last year, and one this year. Jang suffered a 19-game losing streak against Kiwoom in Gochuk on April 1, the opening match, breaking Shim Soo-chang’s 18-game losing streak, which was the previous record, but he redeemed himself by ending the streak against Kiwoom.
After the game, Jang Si-hwan said, “I can only say I’m happy. It can’t be this good. In the first hour of the eighth inning, the 19-game losing streak over the past three years passed like a flashlight. I was more nervous than I was when I won the first time, and it’s even better than that,” he said after breaking his losing streak.
“I thought it was a trick of fate,” said Jang Si-hwan about ending his 19-game losing streak. Before the 19-game losing streak, I started in 2021 and had one chance to break it here (a seven-inning, two-run winless streak on August 26), but the team ended it (actually a 4-4 tie). It’s a weird feeling to have that one here, too, and to end it here, as if by some twist of fate.”
While Zhang talked about the losing streak in a joking, nonchalant manner, he was deeply troubled and worried. “Honestly, I was always anxious. I was afraid to go up to the mound some days because of my bad record. I honestly wondered if I should retire, but I thought I had to hang in there. I have a family, so even if I can’t, I’m going to try harder, and I think the opportunity to quit came today,” he said, referring to his family.
In a post-match interview, Jang showed tears in his eyes as he talked about his family. “I’m most sorry to my wife,” he said, his voice still trembling. She’s been through a lot since she married me. During the 19-game losing streak, it was hard for me, but how hard it must have been for her to watch. I’m grateful that she stood by me and supported me when I was struggling and told me that I could do it.” He confessed, “After the match, I honestly went home. “After the match, I honestly wanted to go home. My wife and baby were my first thoughts. The good thing was that we had an away game that I wanted to be with them,” he said, showing his affection for his family.
He also expressed his gratitude to Shim Soo-chang, who understood his feelings after losing 18 consecutive matches. “He was actually my role model,” Zhang said. I honestly wasn’t a good baseball player, and I was wondering how I could make my baseball leaner and longer, but he did. I think I chose the wrong role model from the beginning (laughs). Still, he was a good senior for me. During one of our losing streaks, I cried while talking to him on the phone. I was crying because I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore, but my brother told me, ’18 consecutive losses is a bad record, but it’s because the coach and other people around you believe in you,’ and that made me want to try again.”
The Hanwha juniors waited for Jang to finish the interview and congratulated him on his victory by spraying him with water. “I took the bad stuff, so I want them to do the good stuff. I hope the juniors can only do good things and contribute to the team, so the team will get better and stronger, and we will have another chance to come back from a big deficit like today. Hopefully, the juniors are on a good path. Now that we’ve broken the losing streak, I’d like to go on a winning streak, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy, and I’d like to see the team reach the top five.”