“We’re the best in the country if we just increase our strikeout rate”
The ‘National Hitter’ hasn’t changed his beliefs. Can Doosan’s 10-win ace bounce back?
Doosan won 8-3 against Hanwha in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on April 12, but the team was unable to capitalize on the poor performance of starting pitcher Kwak Bin.
Kwak barely lasted four innings, giving up three runs on four hits while fanning five. He also threw 98 pitches.
Kwak-Bin, who earned his first 10-game win with eight innings of four-hit, three-walk, five-strikeout ball against SSG in Jamsil on Aug. 25, ended August with six innings of three-hit, five-strikeout ball against LG Electronics in Jamsil on Aug. 31, but collapsed against KIA in Jamsil on Aug. 6, giving up six runs on nine hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 3⅓ innings, and then pitched below expectations against Hanwha in Jamsil on Aug. 12, giving up three runs on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts in four innings.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop met with reporters at the Jamsil Stadium on the 13th and said about Kwak-Bin’s pitching the day before (12th), “He threw 98 pitches until the fourth inning, so it must be said that he was not in good shape. On a good day, he throws less than 100 pitches in seven innings.” He added, “He has a very up-and-down appearance depending on his condition on the day. I think he’s definitely going to pitch for a higher goal, but if he doesn’t close the gap (between good and bad), it’s going to take a long time for him to get better.”
“Obviously, he’s a pitcher, so he’s a sensitive personality and he’s going to be greedy to pitch better,” said Lee Seung-yup, who understood Kwak Bin’s feelings. “If he relaxes and keeps his mind simple, he’ll definitely pitch well. As I always say, if he improves his strike rate, he is the best pitcher in Korea,” he said.
“I’m not going to lose heart, but I’m still worried about him. We still have important games before the Asian Games, and we need to be strong,” he said, adding, “I hope he will make his next appearance with the pride of being a one-two-three punch with the Korean ace and the foreign pitchers in our team.” 안전놀이터
Kwak Bin has been selected for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. After traveling to the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March of this year, Kwak Bin has been touted as a pivotal player for the Asian Games. He will pitch in up to two more games before joining the national team. Doosan plans to use him against KIA in Gwangju on July 17 and against Samsung Electronics in Daegu on July 22. The national team will begin team training on the 23rd.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “The game on the 17th is the key. It’s a very important game. If he’s in good shape, we won’t be able to pull him out quickly. If he is overworked, he may not be able to pitch on the 22nd. For now, I still think Kwak Bin will pitch on the 22nd and I will take the starting lineup.”