“I couldn’t make a clear selection” Commander’s self-blame… There is no pitcher to take responsibility for one game
The successor of ‘Kwang Hyun-jong (Kim Gwang-hyun + Yang Hyeon-jong)’ has disappeared. It was really painful to not have an ace to be in charge of a game.
Korean baseball suffered another disaster. He tasted the pain of being eliminated in the first round by finishing the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Group B group stage held at Tokyo Dome in Japan with 2 wins and 2 losses and 3rd place in the group. The national team, which performed well in the 2006 (semifinal) and 2009 (runner-up) competitions, was humiliated by being eliminated in the first round of three consecutive competitions following 2013 and 2017.
Losing in the first game against Australia remains regrettable. Korea tried to use this competition as a stage for a generational change. Accordingly, he tried to appoint veteran pitchers such as Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong as the bullpen in the right place whenever a crisis occurred. Instead, young pitchers such as Won Tae-in, Koo Chang-mo, and Won Tae-in seemed to have a chance to start.
But in practice, it wasn’t like that. In the game against Australia, Koh Young-pyo was the starting pitcher. However, he came down the mound shaking with 4 hits (1 home run), 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 walks, 2 runs (2 earned) in 4⅓ innings. The 7th inning, where Korea led 4-2, was the match. At that time, So Joon Sohn started as a bullpen pitcher, and he brought himself into a crisis with 1 out 2 and 3 base with a hit ball, a hit, and a sacrifice bunt. In the end, Kim Won-joong, who followed, was hit by a three-run gun and handed over the victory.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol, the commanding tower, also picked this point as a defeat. After the defeat at the time, coach Lee explained, “The reason why I chose Hyung-Jun So is because he is a pitcher who can be the first pitcher and catch an out,” and then “I thought he was the most stable pitcher. But giving 3 points there seems to have passed the flow. ” he pointed out.
The defeat against Australia made the match against Japan a must-win game. In the end, Korea’s most reliable card, Kim Gwang-hyun,안전놀이터 had no choice but to step out. I dealt with Japan a lot, but on the other hand, Japanese batters also knew Kim Kwang-hyun well. In the end, Kim Gwang-hyun, without completing the 3rd inning, gave up the mound to Won Tae-in after recording 2 innings (59 pitches), 3 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 4 runs (4 earned runs).
In both games, Korea had no choice but to struggle as the selection did not last long. In the past, there were Park Chan-ho, Seo Jae-eung, Kim Seon-woo, Koo Dae-seong, and Bae Young-soo as aces who could be trusted for just one game. In addition, Ryu Hyun-jin, Kim Gwang-hyun, and Yang Hyeon-jong supported the national team mound as a trio of lefties. All of them were real aces who could take responsibility for a game.
Unfortunately, however, there was no ace in the national team this time. There were Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong, but they were not the same age as before. Kim Gwang-hyun is a veteran of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and Yang Hyeon-jong has been playing since the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
Coach Lee Kang-cheol also blamed himself at the end of the tournament, saying, “In the past, there were pitchers who could be sure of starting and middle positions. This time, I should have decided on a clear starting pitcher, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t decide on that part because I was lacking, so I couldn’t finish.” . However, the reality of Korean baseball was that there was no ace that deserved to catch a game before coach Lee’s choice. It was the 2023 WBC tournament where a true ace was missed.