In 1982, the first year of the KBO, OB (now Doosan)’s Park Chul-soon won 22 consecutive games without a loss from April 10 against Haetae (now KIA) to September 18 against Lotte.

This record still stands as the longest winning streak by a KBO pitcher. In the days before the concept of pitcher division of labor, Park Chul-soon pitched in both starting and relief roles, compiling a 24-4 record with seven saves and a 1.82 ERA in 1982. He also holds the record for the longest single-season winning streak with 22 consecutive wins.

If there’s a winning streak, there’s also a losing streak. The record for the longest personal losing streak by a KBO pitcher is held by Hanwha’s Jang Si-hwan (36, pictured). Jang took the loss on September 27, 2020, in the Daejeon NC, and then took the loss in relief against Gochuk Kiwoom in the season opener on April 1, breaking the record of 18 consecutive losses held by Shim Soo-chang (retired).

Jang Si-hwan, who disappeared from the first team after pitching just three games in April, returned to the mound on April 6. He pitched one scoreless 스포츠토토 inning against Lotte on the 6th, 1.1 scoreless innings against SSG on the 8th, and one scoreless inning against NC on the 21st, fulfilling his role as a veteran bullpen member.

Jang Si-hwan took the mound again on the 25th against Gochuk Kiwoom. He came on in the seventh inning with Hanwha trailing 3-6 and pitched one shutout inning with just seven pitches. The Hanwha bats exploded for 13 runs in the top of the eighth inning in a two-run rally to give Jang the win. Hanwha went on to win 16-6, giving Jang his first win in 1038 days and ending a long, long losing streak.

There was no such luck for the 19-game losing streak. On August 26, 2021, he pitched seven innings of two-run ball against Gocheok Kiwoom, but a bullpen meltdown cost him the win. Last year, he bounced back and forth between closer and set-up man, earning 14 saves and seven shutouts, but he lost five more games without a win, extending his losing streak to 18 games.

However, the flip side of that is that the fact that he was able to stay on the mound after 19 consecutive losses shows that he was trusted by the coaching staff. You can’t set a record of 19 consecutive losses if you’re not good. Maybe it’s more like a medal.

“I’m happy,” said Jang Si-hwan, who was teary-eyed in the postgame interview. When the team attacked in the first hour of the eighth inning, the three years and 19 consecutive losses passed like a flash. I felt once again how good it is to win.”

Hanwha, which hasn’t finished out of the bottom half of the standings for the past three years, is in a position to fight for a mid-table spot this season. It will be interesting to see if Jang Si-hwan, who experienced a tearful end to the losing streak, can help Hanwha make a late-season surge.

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