Lotte Giants ‘long-haired closer’ Kim Won-joong, 30, has two 30-save seasons and 107 career saves. He has established himself as the club’s leading closer, following in the footsteps of Kia Tigers’ Son Seung-ak. In addition, the duo of Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong is Lotte’s most reliable closer. They are also blue-chip players who will enter the 2024-2025 free agency market.굿모닝토토 도메인
The two had a special meal with Lotte fans after the season ended. Lotte’s YouTube channel, Giants TV, released a video of the event on Sept. 9, and Kim Won-joong stood out for his detailed and honest answers to fans’ questions. It was the epitome of fan service.
Kim appeared in three games in the first round of the World Baseball Classic in March, but struggled with a 1-0 record and a 10.80 ERA. He hit a game-winning home run against Australia. It’s a bit of black history, but he brought it up when a fan told him he was cheering at the Tokyo Dome during the WBC.
“I should have done better, but I got hit by a home run… I usually forget about blown saves, but I still remember that,” Kim said. He thanked the Korean fans for their support during the WBC. “When the national anthem was playing, you could hear the Korean fans… I mean, we’re all Japanese, all the elite members of the Japan Warriors, but the Korean fans’ support helped us a lot,” he said.
He gave his own closing remarks. In response to a fan’s comment about his charismatic demeanor, he said, “Closing is the place where wins and losses are decided. In the starting lineup, if you give up three runs in six innings, they say you did a good job, but in the closer’s position, if you get a single or a hit, everyone gets irritated and thinks, ‘Is this right or not,’ so when I go to the game, I go out with the idea of going to war.”
Kim Won-joong even said, “I don’t know what kind of facial expressions and gestures I make on the mound because I go out there thinking, ‘How can I get that hitter, how can I kill that hitter. Of course, he laughs and says, “My brothers are showing me pictures and saying, ‘Why are you doing this?” But he plans to keep his style and mindset. “That’s how you win or lose,” he said.
“I do it to clear my mind, but if I think about anything at that moment, I lose. In the world of competition, I can’t think about anything until I see the ground and run. I think it’s my own kind of self-brainwashing,” he said.
Kim Won-joong has been fine this season after the WBC shocker, with a 5-6 record, 30 saves, and a 2.97 ERA in 63 games. Manager Kim Tae-hyung is also comfortable with the idea of an eighth or ninth inning. “He’s very charismatic and believes in his players, so I think me and my brothers need to take more responsibility and prepare well,” Kim said.