Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong have been twisted. Lee Kang-chul’s Mound Initiative
Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG) and Yang Hyun-jong (KIA) should be leaders based on a lot of experience as senior players. I’ll use it when it’s important.”
Lee Kang-chul, head coach of the Korean national baseball team, tried to entrust Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong with a heavy responsibility while envisioning 15 pitchers for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). Except for the two players, seven players, including Kwak Bin, Jung Chul-won (Doosan), Kim Won-joong (Lotte), So Hyung-joon (kt), Jung Woo-young, Kim Yoon-sik (LG), and Koo Chang-mo (NC), were the first players to participate in major international competitions involving professional players. Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong drew a picture of taking the center stage at a time when they set up a pitching staff for a generational shift on the mound.
However, the sketch and reality were completely different. Not only Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong, but also pitchers had a hard time as they rarely improved from off-season training in Arizona, the U.S. overall. The Korean team had a tiring schedule before entering Tokyo, Japan, where the tournament will be held on the 7th. When he returned to Korea from the U.S., his return was delayed due to a defect in his aircraft, and after training in Korea for about two days, he immediately moved to Osaka, Japan, to play two warm-up matches. The long flight time in a week was also a problem, but many players complained of jet lag.
Anyway, Kim Kwang-hyun has made his own condition, and took on the heavy responsibility of starting the match against Korea and Japan on the 10th. And until the second inning, he overwhelmed Japanese batters with his main weapon slider. He struck out five while dealing with seven batters in two innings. The maximum fastball speed was 148 kilometers with all his might.
The problem was Kim Kwang-hyun’s physical strength. Kim Kwang-hyun pitched two innings at most until the warm-up match. Therefore, it was difficult to gain confidence that Kim Kwang-hyun was the starting pitcher for the Korea-Japan match. Kim Kwang-hyun eventually shook his control from the third inning, and the ending led to a 4-13 disaster as everyone knew. As Kim Kwang-hyun collapsed, the young bullpen that followed was also beaten by Japanese batters, unable to overcome the poor condition and pressure.
Yang Hyun-jong was worse off. Yang Hyun-jong took the mound without a runner with one out in the top of the eighth inning, trailing 4-5 against Australia on the 9th. If Yang Hyun-jong held out without losing a point here, South Korea could have turned it over again. However, Yang Hyun-jong was hit by a hit, a double, and a three-run home run one after another and handed the ball over to Lee Yong-chan without catching any outcount. Three batters, seven pitches, three hits (one home run) and three runs. Yang Hyun-jong has not been able to take the mound again since leaving this record.
Coach Lee said, “(Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong) will prepare to play as intermediate pitchers or finishing pitchers. “There is a limit to the number of pitches anyway, so I’m thinking of using it at an important moment because I have to prepare regardless of starting, finishing, and middle pitchers during the practice process,” he said, but this calculation was completely wrong.
The problem is that Kim Kwang-hyun and Yang Hyun-jong are not the only ones shaking. Next, fastball pitcher Ko Woo-suk (LG), who was trying to be appointed in the bullpen, has been resting in the aftermath of shoulder muscle pain behind his neck. Cho Hyung-joon, Jung Woo-young, Koo Chang-mo, Kim Yoon-sik and Lee Eui-ri have been pushed to the bench after pitching that did not win the coach’s trust, although they took the mound.
In this case, only the pitchers who threw have no choice but to keep throwing. Only pitchers who can control the ball and calculate the game remain. This is the case with Won Tae-in (Samsung), Park Se-woong (Lotte), Kim Won-joong, Jung Chul-won, and Lee Yong-chan (NC). In particular, Kim Won-joong is devoted to the national team by playing in all six games, starting with a practice match against SSG at Gocheok Dome on the 3rd, two warm-up matches in Osaka, Japan, and three matches in the first round of the WBC.
All the center points of the mound envisioned by head coach Lee Kang-chul were shaken, and the results showed 29 hits, 15 walks, and 25 runs in three games. 안전놀이터
Meanwhile, South Korea will play its last group match against China in the first round on the 13th. If the Czech Republic fails to win the match between the Czech Republic and Australia on the 13th, South Korea will have to confirm its elimination from the tournament and play against China.