For SSG veteran pitcher Noh Kyung-eun (39), time seems to be running backwards. She is forty years old, but the ball she throws from the mound is more powerful than anyone else. She is full of passion.
Noh took the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 5-3 lead against LG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on April 24.
At first, her pitch was shaky. Facing Austin, a wild pitch was thrown, advancing the runner from first to second. He then walked Oh to load the bases with two outs. Moon Bo-kyung grounded out to the first baseman to end the threat.
In the eighth inning, there was a bigger crisis. The defense made a critical error. After a leadoff single to Kim Min-sung, Hong Chang-ki grounded out to second base. Second baseman Choi Joo-hwan caught it and threw to shortstop Park Sung-sung, but the ball deflected sideways and rolled into the outfield, leaving runners on second and third with no outs.
LG missed three chances to tie the game in the fifth through seventh innings. Noh Kyung-eun struck out Park Dong-won on a fastball (143km) to first base and Park Hae-min on a slider (138km) to shortstop. He walked Moon Sung-ju, but got Kim Hyun-soo to ground out to second base and roared on the mound, pumping his fist in the air.
After 1.1 innings of one hit and three walks, his command was shaky, but he got out of the jam with a wild pitch. He did not allow a run in two consecutive innings. SSG held on to a 5-3 lead and won the game. Coach Kim Won-hyung said after the game, “It was a tough game, but it was good to save the game, and the bullpen was able to overcome the pressure and win the game. (Noh) Kyung-eun was the driving force of the victory because she calmly saved the game from an error in the eighth inning.”
Noh Kyung-eun was released from Lotte as a non-roster player after the 2021 season. But Noh was still confident in her ball. She tried out for SSG in a tryout and proved it.
She excelled on the mound, bouncing between the starting rotation and the bullpen, doing the grunt work. In 41 games, he pitched 79⅔ innings with a 12-5 record, seven shutouts, one save, and a 3.05 ERA. As an interim starter in the first half of the year and out of the bullpen in the second half, he helped SSG win the regular season wire-to-wire and the combined title.
This season, he has continued to pitch well as a strong setup man. In 23 games, he has a 2-1 record, two saves, 12 holds, and a 1.85 ERA. In May, he’s been even more reliable, going 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA in 11 appearances. 스포츠토토
His 23 games are the second-most among bullpen arms in the league. His 24⅓ innings are second only to Im Ki-young (26⅓). A performance that belies his age. Leads the league with 12 holds. Two ahead of second-place Lotte’s Koo Seung-min (10). Noh is challenging to become the oldest holder in history. The oldest holder was LG’s Ryu Taek-hyun in 2007 at 36 years old. Can a 39-year-old hold king be born?