“Face the best pitcher” Lee Seung-yeop’s order, ‘Baby Bear’ firmly responded
Doosan Bears third-year pitcher Kim Dong-joo faced the biggest ‘mountain’ in his second start after his debut.
Kim Dong-joo was announced as a starter in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes match held at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on the 13th. Originally scheduled to face Kiwoom starter Jang Jae-young in the game on the 12th, but the match was canceled for fine dust that day, and Kim Dong-ju came out as the starter on the 13th.
However, Kiwoom changed the starting pitcher. It was not the 5th starter Jang Jae-young, but the 1st starter An Woo-jin. Last year, he faced Ahn Woo-jin, the ace who set the record for the most strikeouts (224) in a single season by a Korean pitcher. In his first start on the 6th of his debut, he must have felt a different pressure than when he faced NC starter Lee Jun-ho and won his first victory.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop, who gave Kim Dong-ju such a ‘trial’, said before the game on the 13th, “If Kim Dong-ju doesn’t throw today, he could be pushed back, so I decided to go as it should. I didn’t think too much because my opponent was Ahn Woo-jin. As a pitcher, it will be helpful to play against the best pitcher in the league. Whether you win or lose, if you win again, you can improve.”
As coach Lee expected, Kim Dong-ju threw his ball without hesitation even when he met the best right-handed ace in the league. Kim Dong-ju’s record is 4 innings, 2 hits, 4 strikeouts, 4 walks and 1 run. The team lost 2-9 that day, the first loss in their career, but Kim Dong-joo’s pitch was so good that Kiwoom attempted a sacrifice bunt from the 4th inning.
The maximum speed of the fastball was 148 km. He threw the most sliders and mixed splitters and curveballs. In particular, he made Kiwoom batters’ bats spin around with a falling slider and a forkball. On this day, Doosan replaced Kim Dong-ju early in the 5th inning to continue the tight 0-0 flow, but Kim Dong-ju showed infinite possibilities in the early stages.
Kim Dong-joo struck out Kim Hye-seong on a swing in the 3rd inning with 1 out and 2 base, and Lee Hyung-jong returned to third base with a floating ball to finish the inning. In the 4th inning, Park Joo-hong walked on base with 1st out and 2nd base, but Park Chan-hyeok was out with a double stroke in 1st out, 1st and 2nd base.
Kim Dong-ju walked Kim Hwi-jip after Lim Byung-wook hit in the 5th inning. Kim Dong-joo was replaced by Choi Ji-gang at the 1st and 2nd bases. Choi Ji-gang allowed Kim Hye-seong a 1-run sacrifice fly with no bases loaded, and Kim Dong-ju stepped home. It was an unfortunate moment when the season’s scoreless break was broken.
There is a reason why director Lee changed Kim Dong-ju early. Coach Lee said in an interview the day after Kim Dong-ju’s first win,온라인바카라 “Kim Dong-ju’s problem was stamina, but yesterday was great.” Kim Dong-joo judged that the point at which his strength starts to fade is the 70th pitch. If Kim Dong-ju develops more physical strength and continues his sense of stability in the future, coach Lee’s trust will likely grow even more.