The ‘Fateful Korea-Japan Battle’ is not far away.
The most important game for the Korean baseball team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) is the first match against Australia (9th), but the most interesting for fans is the Korea-Japan match on the 10th. It has been 14 years since Korea and Japan clashed on the WBC stage, a national competition played by world-class major leaguers, after losing in the finals of the 2nd tournament in 2009.
In Japan, many local media are citing veteran pitcher big leaguer Yu Darvish (37, San Diego) as a strong candidate for the Korean match. Darvish is so eager to join the Japanese national team right from the first day of training without participating in his team’s spring camp.
However, the actual pitching was uneven. On the 2nd, in a practice game with Nippon Professional Baseball Chunichi, which also served as training, he hit the opponent’s batter from the first inning, allowing 2 runs with 2 hits and 2 hits on 4 balls. However, he ended the pitch with no runs in the second and third innings. He threw 50 against 12 total and had three hits and four walks with two strikeouts. His fastball top speed was 153 km/h.
Shohei Otani (29, Los Angeles Angels), who has already thrown a 158 km/h light-speed ball in a major league demonstration game, is also one of the candidates, but the atmosphere seems to put more weight on Darvish.메이저사이트
On the other hand, Korea is still in the dark. Since the condition of the pitchers was not improved in the Arizona training, they plan to decide on specific positions after the SSG and evaluation match at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 3rd. There is one definite criterion. It’s a ‘left-handed selection’. Koo Dae-seong, Bong Joong-geun (retired), and Kim Gwang-hyeon (35, SSG), who made their reputation as “Japanese killers” in previous Korea-Japan matches, are all left-handed pitchers. Also, 9 out of 15 batters in Japan were left-handed.
Candidates for the match against Japan are Gu Chang-mo (26, NC), Lee Eui-ri (21, KIA), and veteran Kim Gwang-hyun, who dream of becoming the next-generation left-handed ace. The most suitable selection is Gu Chang-mo, who has been verified in the KBO League. Former NC coach Kim Gyeong-moon said, “Left-handed pitchers have an advantage against Japan.” Japan’s Sankei Sports also analyzed that Korea’s left-handed pitchers will be wary, and Gu Chang-mo and Lee Eui-ri will be the starting pitchers, while Kim Gwang-hyeon and Yang Hyeon-jong (35, KIA) will be the middle pitchers.
The problem is that Gu Chang-mo’s pitching in the practice game was not good. Koo Chang-mo went out as the first pitcher against KIA on the 20th of last month and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits in 1 inning, and in the next appearance against KT on the 24th, he was sluggish with 3 hits and 1 walk in 1 inning. Lee Eui-ri made three appearances and recorded 2 hits (1 home run), 3 walks and 2 runs (1 earned) in 3 innings. The comfort is that Kim Gwang-hyun pitched 3 hits and no runs in 3 innings in 2 games. In the practice match between SSG Future Team and the national team held at Gocheok Dome on the 3rd, he went out as SSG starting pitcher and recorded 3 hits and 1 run in 2 innings.