(Busch Stadium) After posting a total of 357 saves in Japan and Korea, Seung Hwan Oh recorded his first in the big leagues on Saturday to close out the St. Louis Cardinals 3-o victory over Milwaukee.
“More than just the save itself, I’m glad I could contribute to the team winning,” said Oh, through translator Eugene Koo. “I understand the importance and the fact it’s one of the major accomplishments I’ve achieved in my career. I’m very happy, but very happy I could contribute to the team.”
Surprisingly, Oh shared that when he signed with St. Louis, his goal wasn’t to record a save or be the closer but rather to “get up on the mound of Major League Baseball” and this was something he did not see coming.
Entering the game, Oh had appeared in the 9th inning three times for St. Louis, but this was his first save opportunity.
“It does feel kind of special, the ending the game feeling–and also the high fives with Yadi,” admitted Oh. “And also the fans, we can enjoy that moment itself with the fans. That also feels very special.”
Worth noting, when asked his feelings about being the closer, Oh quickly corrected the questioner.
“My mentality right now is not thinking of myself as the closer, but I’m trying to fill in the empty space where Rosie used to pitch in,” he stated. “I’m just trying to get out there and get the guys out and help the team and the coaching staff. But more than anything, it’s up to the coaching staff who’s going to make that determination or decision later on, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Oh struck out two of the three batters he faced on Saturday and did not allow a runner to reach first. In his previous two outings, he had been disappointed after allowing at least two runners to reach base.
“It’s important not to dwell on the past so maybe a little bit, it might have had a positive effect,” said Oh, who’s not a big believer in momentum. “Not so much. I try not to be too sensitive about that.”
OH YOU DIDN’T KNOW
–While the Road Dogg and Billy Gunn weren’t around to add the lyrics, a familiar theme for wrestling fans played as Oh made his entrance from the bullpen for the 9th inning, the New Age Outlaws theme. This was not just a clever play upstairs, but rather Oh shared that he used to watch wrestling and was a fan of Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Macho Man Randy Savage. After talking it over with Koo, they decided on the New Age Outlaws theme for his own entrance.
photo credit: Bill Greenblatt/UPI