Korean baseball promoted generational change by imposing age and seniority restrictions at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG). From the first game, they were caught by Taiwan, a difficult enemy, but the pitching of the setup man duo in their second year of professional debut brought comfort.
Korea lost 0-4 in the second game against Taiwan in Group B of the 2022 Hangzhou AG Baseball Group Stage held at the first stadium of Shaoxing Baseball-Softball Sports Center in Hangzhou, China on the 2nd. They were unable to target Taiwanese pitchers playing on the American stage at all.
Korea suffered three consecutive losses to Taiwan, including Jakarta-Palembang AG in 2018 and Premier 12 in 2019. We can no longer be optimistic about our superiority. Dark clouds also appeared on the front line of achieving 4 consecutive wins in the Asian Games (AG).
Korea’s starting pitcher Dong-ju Moon gave up 1 run with consecutive long hits in the bottom of the first inning and 1 run with a wild pitch in the 4th inning with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 3rd base. In the bottom of the 8th inning, when the team was in the catching range with a 0-2, 2-run gap, KBO League representative closing pitcher Go Woo-seok hit a timely hit in the middle of the game at 2nd and 3rd base with 2 outs and gave up 2 more runs.
Park Se-woong, the oldest pitcher on the mound, also took the mound as the second pitcher following Moon Dong-ju in the bottom of the fifth inning, but came off the mound after being driven to the brink of giving up a run with two outs and the bases loaded.
The offensive power of a frustrating batting lineup and the struggles of trustworthy pitchers. What gave hope in this situation were young pitchers Choi Ji-min and Park Young-hyun, who played an active role as the league’s representative setup men this season.굿모닝토토
Left-hander Choi Ji-min (KIA Tigers) took the mound in a crisis situation brought on by Park Se-woong, and grounded Taiwan’s fourth batter Lin An-ke to first base to prevent additional runs. In the following 6th inning, the team gave up a walk and a hit, respectively, but hitter Shen Haowei’s sacrifice bunt waved away the attempt, catching the runner on second base at third base, and following up, Lin Zhihao also grounded out.
In the ensuing crisis, right-hander Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz), who took the mound, ended the inning by striking out Lin Jiazheng, who was facing a run crisis, and also struck out both Zeng Zongze and Lin Zhiwei on 3 pitches in the 7th inning. Third batter Linley also showed powerful pitching by catching a fly ball. 1 1/3 scoreless innings.
Choi Ji-min, who was selected by KIA in the first round of the 2022 second rookie draft, appeared in 59 games in the KBO League this season, recording 6 wins, 3 losses, 12 holds, 3 saves, and an ERA of 2.16, becoming the team’s representative setup man. Park Young-hyun, who was selected in the first round of the 2022 rookie draft, recorded 32 holds and an ERA of 2.82 this season. As of the 2nd, he is the pitcher ranked first in the KBO League’s hold category.
No matter how much the national team is in the process of generational change, the loss against Taiwan is a painful result for Korea. In this situation, young pitchers played an active role and showed that they were not defeated in the waist battle. It is expected that it will also affect the mound management of head coach Ryu Joong-il.