Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha Eagles), who has been called the best starting pitcher on the national team, and Ko Woo-seok (LG Twins), the league’s best closer, have been lost, making the discovery of 20-year-old pitcher Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz) even more of a pearl in the mud.
Park entered the game with runners on first and second in the bottom of the sixth inning, trailing 0-2, and threw a perfect game, striking out three and walking none, using just 12 pitches in 1 1/3 innings of work in the second game of the World Baseball Classic Group B against Chinese Taipei at The Baseball Main Venue of Shaoxing Baseball & Softball Sports Center in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China on Tuesday (Feb. 2).
After going 0-4 against Chinese Taipei, South Korea found themselves in a tough spot, needing to beat both the first- and second-place finishers in Group A to have any hope of reaching the Super Round after winning against Thailand on Wednesday. The game was even more painful because they were outplayed by their trusted pitchers. That’s why the pitching of Park Young-hyun, who made his national team debut, was even more valuable.
Park took the mound as the team’s last pitcher on the first day of the tournament against Hong Kong, and despite making her national team debut, she threw 12 pitches in one inning, allowing one hit and striking out two.
It was a difficult pitch to make a big deal out of, as Korea was out-hit 10-0 in the eighth inning, but the game against Chinese Taipei was different.
Moon Dong-ju, who has been the KBO’s overwhelming Rookie of the Year candidate this season with a fastball that tops out at 160 kilometers per hour, showed signs of nerves. He gave up a run in the first inning on two singles and another in the fourth on an infield single followed by a wild pitch.
In the eighth inning, the league’s best reliever, Ko Woo-seok, came in and gave up two runs on a hard-hit ball and a pair of critical hits. Both pitchers were nervous about facing Taiwan, a country full of minor leaguers.
But Park was different. He made it clear that his strong performance the day before was no fluke. Even in a clutch situation, he threw one laser fastball after another. Swing, swing, swing, swing. He struck out Lin Jiajing on three pitches.메이저사이트
After getting out of the jam, Park came on in the seventh inning. After hitting a double to left-center off Moon Dong-joo in the first inning, he struck out Zheng Zhong-er with three pitches and Lin Zhiwei with three pitches. The next pitch was a fastball from Park Young-hyun that looked like the tip of the ball was rising. Young-hyun Park overwhelmed the Taiwanese batters with a gutsy pitch that asked them to hit it.
It’s not really a surprise. The 2022 first-round pick of KT has been a stalwart of manager Lee Kang-cheol’s staff since his rookie year, appearing in 52 games, and this season he has a 3-3 record with four saves and 32 strikeouts in 67 games and 73⅓ innings. His earned run average (ERA) is just 2.82. He leads the league in holds.
“My nickname in the national team is Madanggak,” Park said upon arrival in Hangzhou, according to KT, “I’m in really good shape and I’m confident whenever I go out. “Every game is important, starting with the group stage, and I will do my best to live up to the trust they put in me,” he said.
And indeed, he has fulfilled his role as a sparkplug. “I pitched two games and I wanted to help the team win somehow,” he said after the game against Taiwan, “I pitched in a crunch situation, but all I could think about was that I had to close it out. Today, I adjusted perfectly, and my pitches came out well, as well as my fastball. I will always think of Taegeuk Mark in any situation and pitch for the team to win,” he said.