KIA’s Yang Hyun-jong extends his 170-inning streak to nine seasons with ‘another first’
KIA Tigers Yang Hyun-jong (35) has been a mainstay in the starting rotation this year. He finished the first half with a 5-5 record in 16 games (90.1 innings) and a 3.79 ERA. Together with Lee Yi-ri (16 games – 73 innings), he made the most starts on the team in the first half, and was the only pitcher to go over 90 innings.
Yang Hyun-jong, one of KIA’s most popular pitchers, has been among the league’s top performers in the ‘innings pitched’ category every season. As the league’s leading ‘innings eater’, he holds the league’s first record of ‘170 innings pitched in eight consecutive seasons’.메이저놀이터
Excluding the 2021 season, when he was in the Major Leagues, Yang reached the 170-inning plateau in eight consecutive seasons from 2014 to 2022. Last year, he pitched 175.1 innings, showing that he is still going strong in his mid-30s.
Since the inception of professional baseball in 1982, only Yang Hyun-jong has pitched 170 innings in eight consecutive seasons. While Jeong Min-tae (now a SPOTV commentator) has pitched 170 innings in seven consecutive seasons, Yang is the only pitcher to have pitched 170 innings in eight consecutive seasons.
As Yang continues to cruise this season, there is a lot of interest in whether or not he can achieve the ninth consecutive season of 170 innings pitched. If Yang throws at least 79.2 innings in the second half of the season, he will become the first to do so since last year.
In a 144-game season, KBO ace-level starters typically get around 30 starts a season. If Yang Hyun-jong continues to rotate through the starting rotation as consistently as he did in the first half of the season, he could easily reach the 170-inning plateau again this season.
With the competition for the mid-table position fierce again this season, KIA will need to continue to put their best foot forward in the second half of the season to challenge for a spot in autumn baseball. The team’s reliance on Yang Hyun-jong, who has been solid throughout the first half of the season, is unlikely to diminish anytime soon. Yang will need to continue to be the centrepiece of the starting line-up in the second half.
If he can become the first pitcher to reach 170 innings in nine consecutive seasons, he will also achieve another significant milestone. It would be the third 2300-inning season in KBO history. Through the first half of this season, Yang has pitched 2,251.2 innings in his career. Until last year, only Song Jin-woo and Jung Min-cheol (both of the Hanwha Eagles) had reached the 2,300-inning mark in KBO history.