Our only promising prospect who said yes or no… It was more shabby compared to the standard ‘150km’ in Japan

Correspondent Cho Hyeong-rae] He was our own promising star 안전놀이터 who said ‘oh ya oh ya’. Young Guns, who were regarded as the standard players for the generational change of the Korean pitching staff, were intimidated and unable to use their strength on the world stage. And compared to Japan, which was said to be an old enemy, it was even more shabby. 

The Korean national team suffered a crushing defeat 3-14 against Japan in Group B in the first round of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) held at Tokyo Dome, Japan on the 10th. It is said to be an archenemy, but while reaffirming the significant gap with Japan, it became known to the whole world that the reality of Korean baseball is this much.

Korea sent Kim Kwang-hyun, who had been in charge of the Korea-Japan match 15 years ago, as a starting pitcher for the Korea-Japan match once again. Kwang-Hyun Kim concentrated with all his strength and fought back, striking out Shohei Ohtani and striking out 5 up to the 2nd inning. In the top of the 3rd inning, Yang Eui-ji’s two-run gun and Lee Jung-hoo’s timely hit scored 3 points and seemed to be overtaking the lead. But after that was a problem. Kim Kwang-Hyun brought himself into a crisis while playing carefully. 

The 3-point lead quickly disappeared and the game quickly tilted towards Japan as it continued to be dragged. And in this process, the players who were said to be the future of the Korean pitching staff were at a loss against the Japanese batters. He couldn’t show his spirit and shrank as it was. 

Kwang-Hyun Kim (4 runs in 2 innings), Tae-in Won (1 run in 2 innings) Bin Gwak (1 run in ⅔ innings) Cheol-Won Jeong (1 run in ⅓ innings) Yun-Sik Kim (3 runs in 0 innings) Won-Jung Kim (1 run in 1/3 innings) Woo-Young Jung (no run in ⅔ innings) Koo Chang-mo (⅓ innings, 2 runs), Lee Eui-ri (⅓ innings scoreless, 3 walks) Park Se-woong (1⅓ innings scoreless) threw in turn. They barely escaped a cold game by contributing 13 hits and 4 walks. If Park Se-woong had not started, it would have been safe to say that the cold game was a set procedure. The Japanese reporters who visited the Tokyo Dome also prepared for the closing of the article while anticipating the cold game from the 7th episode. 

Even if it didn’t lead to the shame of being called a cold game, we can’t avoid the expression of tragedy and disaster. Including the 7-8 defeat against Australia on the 9th, as the pitchers collapsed one after another, the tragic ending and impact will inevitably be amplified.

The average age of the national team’s pitching staff selected as ‘Lee Kang-cheol-ho’ is 27.1 years old. He was the third-youngest pitching team ever, after the 2008 Beijing Olympics (24.6 years) and the 2000 Sydney Olympics (26.3 years). Some raised questions about the generational change of the national team, but this time the national team was evaluated as a national team that took into account the generational change as a new structure was carried out more than ever. Since all young guns in their 20s representing the KBO League were included, they expected their spirit, and expected that the experience through this tournament would be a source of nourishment for leading Korean baseball in the future.

However, upon opening the lid, their competitiveness was confined to the KBO League. There may be excuses for the preparation process and conditioning, but not being able to meet the tournament schedule announced earlier cannot be an excuse for the pitching staff’s hunting. The records and content of the Young Guns’ appearances were so disastrous that it could be dismissed that their competitiveness and limitations were only this much. It’s not that I couldn’t overcome the pressure of the match against Korea and Japan, but that was my skill.

Moreover, compared to the Japanese pitching staff that day, it was bound to become more shabby. Japan put Darvish Yu, a senior in the pitching team, as the starting pitcher for the Korean War. Darvish collapsed with 3 runs in 3 innings, but 30-year-old left-hander Shota Imanaga (3 innings, 1 run), 25-year-old Udagawa Yuki (1 inning scoreless), and 28-year-old Matsui Yuki (1 inning scoreless) came up after him. 21-year-old Takahashi Hiroto (1 inning scoreless) and others all overpowered Korean batters by throwing balls over 150 km. 

Starting pitcher Shohei Otani in the match against China, as well as second pitchers Shousei Togo, Atsuki Yuasa, and Hiromi Ito also easily overpowered the 150km run. 

Compared to the skills and growth rate of Japan’s young guns, it is only now that we can see how shabby the prospects in the KBO League are. We were able to confirm once again that he was a promising player only for us and that he was still unable to escape from the frog in the well.

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