LG gets stronger with ‘bullpen nuke’ Ham Deok-ju back in the fold

After winning their first baseball regular season title in 29 years, the LG Twins have another weapon in their arsenal to challenge for the top spot in the Korean Series. Veteran left-handed pitcher Ham Deok-ju, 28, is back.

When we met at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Tuesday, he smiled wryly as he recounted an episode at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 4, the day of LG’s regular-season championship ceremony. After the game against Lotte that day, LG held a simple victory ceremony, hanging the jerseys of Ham Deok-ju, Jung Woo-young, Woo-seok, Moon Bo-kyung, and Adam Plutko in the dugout. The jerseys of players who won the title together, but were absent due to injuries and participation in the Asian Games, were hung to show their unity.

“I knew we could win the title in Busan, but I didn’t know that they had prepared the jerseys, so I’m really grateful to them for hanging my jersey, and I’d like to thank (captain Oh) Ji-hwan and my brother and sister,” Ham said. Ham Deok-ju, who experienced the No. 1 ranking for the first time, added, “It’s a shame we couldn’t be together, but it’s nice to be able to train in my room. Everyone welcomed me. I am grateful for the fact that I can train in my room.”

Ham has been a key part of the LG bullpen this season. He appeared in 57 games, the third most on the team behind Kim Jin-sung and Yoo Young-chan, and the most among left-handed pitchers. His regular season record of 4 wins, 4 saves, 16 holds, and a 1.62 ERA was his best since joining LG from Doosan in a 2-for-2 trade in 2021. He struggled with comparisons to Yang Seok-hwan, who also moved from LG to Doosan, but has finally come into his own.스포츠토토

However, he was unable to complete the season due to injury. After the NC Dinos game on August 26, he felt pain in his elbow, which led to a combination of rest, treatment, and training at Icheon’s second team training ground. Fortunately, the pain disappeared quickly and he was able to join the Korean Series in November. From this week, he trained at Jamsil Stadium and finished pitching out of the bullpen on the 10th. He said, “It feels good. It’s good to be on the mound after a long time,” he said.

LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “I told him to prepare slowly, but he didn’t listen,” but he couldn’t hide his delight. He was happy to be able to utilize the best left-handed pitcher in the team. “From the time I played catch, I didn’t feel any pain, so I took one more step, one more step back and threw. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t finish the regular season, but we still have the Korean Series. We will definitely win the Korean Series.”

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