“Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA) must 안전놀이터 become leaders based on a lot of experience as seniors. They will be used when it is important.”
Lee Kang-cheol, head coach of the Korean national baseball team, tried to entrust Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong with heavy responsibility while envisioning 15 pitching entries for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Excluding the two players, Gwak Bin, Jung Cheol-won (above Doosan), Kim Won-joong (Lotte), So-jun So (kt), Jung Woo-young and Kim Yoon-sik (above LG), and Koo Chang-mo (NC) are participating in major international competitions for the first time. were players. In a situation where the pitching team was set up for the mound generation change, Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong drew a picture that held the center.
However, the sketch and the reality were completely different. Not only Kim Kwang-Hyun and Yang Hyeon-Jong, but also the pitchers in general had a hard time because their physical condition did not improve from the training camp in Arizona, USA. The Korean team had a tiring schedule before entering Tokyo, Japan, where the tournament was held on the 7th. When he returned to Korea from the US, his return was delayed due to a machine defect. After training in Korea for about two days, he immediately moved to Osaka, Japan, and played two evaluation matches. The long flight time during the week was also a problem, but not a few players complained of jet lag.
Anyway, Kim Gwang-hyun made his own condition, and on the 10th, he took on the heavy responsibility of starting the match against Korea and Japan. And until the second inning, he overpowered the Japanese batters with his main weapon slider. He struck out 5 while facing 7 batters in 2 innings. The highest speed of the fastball was shot up to 148km with all the body.
The problem was Kim Gwang-hyun’s stamina. Kim Gwang-hyun pitched two innings at most before the evaluation. So, when asked who was the starting pitcher for the Korea-Japan match, it was difficult to convince him that he was Kim Gwang-hyun. In the end, Kim Gwang-hyun’s pitching was shaken sharply from the 3rd inning, and the ending, as everyone knows, led to the 4-13 catastrophe. As Kwang-Hyun Kim collapsed, the younger bullpens who came out after him were also beaten by Japanese batters, unable to overcome the pressure and poor physical condition.
Hyeonjong Yang was in a worse situation. Yang Hyeon-jong took the mound in the game against Australia on the 9th, in the beginning of the 8th inning, 4-5, with no one runner. If Yang Hyeon-jong held out without a goal here, it was a situation where Korea could turn it over again enough. However, Yang Hyeon-jong was hit with a hit, a double, and a 3-run home run in turn, and passed the ball to Lee Yong-chan without catching any out counts. 3 batters, 7 pitches, 3 hits (1 home run), 3 runs. Yang Hyeon-jong has not been able to stand on the mound again since leaving this result.
Manager Lee said, “(Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong) will prepare to go out as middle pitchers or finishers. There is a limit on the number of pitches anyway, so I’m thinking of using them at important moments by preparing them without distinction between starting, finishing, and middle pitching during the practice process. “But this calculation is completely wrong.
The problem is that not only Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong are shaken. Next, Ko Woo-seok (LG), a fastball pitcher who was trying to play in the bullpen, has been resting all along due to muscle pain in the back of his neck and shoulders. So-Jun Sohn, Woo-Young Jung, Chang-Mo Koo, Yun-Sik Kim, and Eui-Ri Lee took to the mound, but have been pushed to the bench after throwing pitches that do not earn the trust of the manager.
If this happens, only the pitchers who threw will have no choice but to keep throwing. At least, it is because only the pitchers who become the first ball and count the game remain. Won Tae-in (Samsung), Park Se-woong (Lotte), Kim Won-joong, Jeong Cheol-won, and Lee Yong-chan (NC) are like that. In particular, Kim Won-joong is the only one who is dedicated to the national team by participating in all 6 matches, starting with a practice match against SSG held at Gocheok Dome on the 3rd, 2 matches in Osaka, Japan, and 3 matches in the 1st round of the WBC.
All the center points of the mound that coach Lee Kang-cheol envisioned were shaken, and the result was 29 hits, 15 walks, and 25 runs in 3 games.
Meanwhile, Korea will play its last match against China on the 13th in the first round group stage. In the match between the Czech Republic and Australia on the afternoon of the 13th, if the Czech Republic loses more than 4 runs and fails to win, Korea will be eliminated from the tournament and must face China.