27 days ago
Now I'm at the back of the line...minimizing blonsaves is the goal

Cho Sang-woo earned his first save in 966 days.

Kiwoom Heroes defeated the Lotte Giants of the Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League 2024 on June 21 at the Gocheok SkyDome in Seoul, South Korea. The 5-2 victory extended Kiwoom's winning streak to two games.

Jo Sang-woo, who entered the game with two outs in the eighth inning, recorded four strikeouts and no runs to earn the save. It was his first save since being called up. It was the first save for the first team in 966 days since October 2021.

After being discharged from the military last winter, Cho returned to the team this season but was unable to take on the role of closer. After serving his mandatory military service as a social service worker, his physical condition was not as good as expected and he started the season as a middle reliever. Moon Sung-hyun and Joo Seung-woo were the first pitchers to take over as the closer. It wasn't until recently that Cho was given the opportunity to pitch again.

"I didn't realize it had been that long," Cho said, "but the atmosphere after closing games has been a long time coming. I even forgot the post-game huddle ritual, so I just stared and mimicked it," he laughs. "We had a three-run lead, so I felt comfortable throwing. I pitched hard to protect the three points that the beasts gave up," he reflected.

There was also a crisis. In the top of the ninth, Lee Jung-hoon doubled and Hwang Sung-bin singled to put runners on first and third. Manager Hong Won-ki personally went to the mound to encourage Cho Sang-woo. "The manager came to the mound and said, 'Sang-woo, it's been a long time,'" Cho said. I think he came to make me feel better," he laughed. After Hong Won-ki's visit, Jo Sang-woo struck out Ko Seung-min to end the game.

Go Seung-min's at-bat was also ambiguous. The ball floated between the left fielder, third baseman, and shortstop, and Dawson, the left fielder, barely managed to catch it. "I thought, 'That's it,' because the ball was floating, so (Kim) Jae-hyun was going to see his brother, and suddenly Dawson was sliding," Cho said. "I went to an ambiguous place, and Dawson caught it nicely. Thank you," he laughed.

"I actually didn't think too much about how many innings I was going to be in. When I heard I was going to be the closer, I thought, 'Oh, I'm going to the back,'" he said. "Still, it's the most comfortable to take care of your body and warm up, so I thought I could start preparing a little more comfortably." The closer is the most 'regular' of the bullpen pitchers, as the situation and innings are almost always set.

2 months ago
Son Heung-min one-on-one shot stop not Ortega

EPL save of the year is Kaminsky's 'double save'

The EPL's best save of the season wasn't made by Spertan Ortega (Man City), who denied Heung-min Son to help Man City win the title.

The English Premier League (EPL) announced the winners of the 2023-2024 season on its official channels on Saturday.

Luton Town's Tomasz Kaminski was the winner of the Save of the Year award. The winners were determined by a panel and fan vote.

Kaminski was honored for his incredible saves and reflexes against Crystal Palace last November, when he saved two shots in quick succession from Eberezi Eze and Jeffrey Schlupp.

Kaminski's crucial saves helped Luton to a 2-1 victory over Palace and their first EPL home win in history.

Ortega, the "Man City backup" who sealed a 2-0 victory at Tottenham on Sept. 15 with a leg save in the 41st minute when he was one-on-one with Spurs ace Son Heung-min after leading 1-0, was not initially nominated.

Alisson (Liverpool), Robert Sanchez (Chelsea), Alfonse Areola (West Ham), Wes Foderingham (Sheffield United), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Mark Flecken (Brentford), Mats Sels (Nottingham Forest) and Andre Onana (Man United) were among the other nominees.

Ortega was instead one of six nominees in the Game-changer category. Ortega could be a surprise winner, as City broke the goalless draw jinx against Tottenham and won an unprecedented fourth consecutive league game thanks to his saves. Ortega is the only goalkeeper among the six nominees.

Meanwhile, Man United's Alejandro Garnacho was named Goal of the Year for his bicycle kick against Everton.

3 months ago (E)
'This is NO PK? It's an INNY foul' Shin Tae-yong on another unfair call

Shin Tae-yong has been left frustrated by yet another poor officiating decision.

Indonesia will face Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup 2024 at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar on Monday at 11 p.m. ET.

Indonesia deployed a 3-4-3 formation. Ferdinand, Sananta, Sulaiman, Fatur Rahman, Jenner, Juon, Arhan, Ferrari, Lido, Herbner, and Ari started up front.

Uzbekistan pulled out a 4-2-3-1 formation. Odilov, Kosimov, Faizullaev, Erkinov, Buriyev, Harmonaliev, Husanov, Rahimzonov, Davronov, Abdurakhmatov, and Nematov.

Indonesia will return to the Olympics for the first time in 68 years thanks to Shin Tae-yong Magic. Indonesia last competed at the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. "There are many players who have been with me for four years. I know them well, and I am confident that they will perform well if they are motivated. I told the players that they can definitely go to the final and to believe in them. They are confident and they are playing well, and that's why we are able to achieve this result," he said.

The group stage was the big story. Indonesia lost 0-2 to hosts Qatar, but defeated Australia and Jordan to reach the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, they faced tournament favorites South Korea, and despite the difficult conditions, the Indonesians managed to draw the game 2-2, winning 11-10 on penalty kicks to pull off a fourth-round miracle.

Their quarterfinal opponent is Uzbekistan. Indonesia is playing a bit defensively. There was another questionable call. In the 26th minute, Husanov's tackle brought down Sulayman. However, the point of the tackle was ambiguous. He was tackled inside the penalty box.

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was called, and the referee did an on-field review, which resulted in the free kick being canceled out in favor of Indonesia's Sulaeeman.

For Shin Tae-yong, it was a frustrating moment. Indonesia had already been brought to their knees by a somewhat incomprehensible decision in their opening match against Qatar. That time, Indonesia had two players sent off.

Head coach Shin Tae-yong also expressed his displeasure with the officiating after the game, saying, "This is a comedy show, not a soccer match."

4 months ago
Ryu regrets missing 99 wins...reveals 'declaration of war' message with friend Hwang Jae-gyun

Ryu Hyun-jin of the Hanwha Eagles was on the verge of his 99th victory against the KT Wiz when his friend Hwang Jae-gyun took it away from him. After the game at Daejeon Hwasung Eagles Park on April 29, Ryu sent a message to his friend and starting third baseman, Hwang Jae-gyun, saying, "It's a war."

Hwang Jae-gyun laughed about the message and said, "I got a message after the game. He said, 'Let's go to war. He also mentioned his current batting average (0.130) and added, "I'm in a hurry, but I can't afford to consider my friend's situation." He was referring to the situation where Hwang Jae-gyun tied the game against Ryu Hyun-jin in the top of the sixth inning of the 29th game.

The loss denied Ryu his first win since returning to South Korea and his 99th career victory. Ryu had previously failed to reach 99 wins in his final KBO game, making this situation even more frustrating.

Nevertheless, Hwang remained positive, saying that Ryu has many more games ahead of him. "We just need to win 99 in the next game and 100 in the next game," he said, adding that he enjoyed playing against his friend.

Meanwhile, Hwang Jae-gyun, who is the only Korean player to hit a home run in his MLB debut, also had words of encouragement for Lee Jung-hoo, who recently made his MLB debut. Hwang is confident that Lee will do well in the MLB.