Korean baseball’s ‘Generation Z cleanup trio’ is ready for AG’s 4th consecutive win


In the summer of 2018, the Korean national baseball team lost 1-2 to Taiwan in the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games preliminaries. Starter Yang Hyun-jong (Kia) allowed two runs in the top of the first inning, allowing a triple and a two-run home run, but the batting line was unable to overturn these scores. The media named the loss, which only resulted in 1 point against 3 pitchers from Taiwan’s professional baseball team, the ‘Jakarta disaster’. In the end, Korea became the champion, but the memory of the disaster remained.

Five years later, Korean baseball is once again aiming for the top spot in Asia. The national team led by coach Ryu Joong-il will take its first step in the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games with the first round of the preliminary round against Hong Kong at Shaoxing Baseball Stadium in Zhejiang Province, China, at 7:30 pm (Korean time) on the 1st of next month. Korea has won four times in seven Asian Games since the 1994 Hiroshima Games, when baseball was introduced as an official sport. Since the 2010 Guangzhou Games, it has been 3 consecutive losses, and the task given to Ryu Joong-il is 4 consecutive losses.

The theme of this national team is ‘generational change.’ For the first time in this competition, Korea formed a national team with an age limit. Three wild cards under the age of 30 were selected along with players under the age of 25 or in their fourth year of joining the team. Thanks to that, 15 out of 24 people are Taegeuk Mark newbies. Coach Ryu Joong-il said at a press conference before leaving the country on the 27th, “This competition is a competition that announces a generational change in Korea. “If I win a gold medal, I will be able to make a great contribution to the development of Korean baseball,” he said.

The cleanup trio was also completely reorganized. Coach Ryu said that the batting order shown in the only practice game (2-0 win over Sangmu) held at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 26th was “80% complete.” At that time, Korea’s numbers 3, 4, and 5 were Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha), Kang Baek-ho (KT), and Moon Bo-kyung (LG). Noh Si-hwan and Moon Bo-kyung are in their first national team, and Kang Baek-ho is in his fourth international competition, but he needs to prove himself as he has bad memories from the previous three competitions.토토사이트

The player receiving the most expectations is Noh Si-hwan. Noh Si-hwan is having a career-high season this year in the KBO League, hitting 31 home runs in 126 games, with a batting average of 0.298, a slugging percentage of 0.549, and an OPS (slugging percentage + on-base percentage) of 0.938. Home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS are all first in the league. However, his output dropped slightly with two home runs in September. After joining the national team, Noh Si-hwan said, “We need to play structured baseball rather than one-shot. “I will focus on getting it right,” he said.

Moon Bo-kyung also has a good flow. He maintained a batting average in the mid to upper .200 range this season, but showed a hot swing by rapidly raising his batting average to 0.409 in September just before being called up. In addition, he has a huge responsibility in defense as he was selected as the first baseman for Ryu Joong-il, who does not have a professional first baseman. Kang Baek-ho, who suffered from injuries and slumps for most of the season, also warmed up his bat with hits in six consecutive league games recently. The two teamed up for victory in the last Sangmu game with 2 hits in 3 at-bats.

Baseball myths such as ‘Baseball is a pitcher’s game’ and ‘The bat cannot be trusted’ have deep roots, and the importance of the mound is greater than ever due to the short-term nature of the game, but there is no four-game losing streak without the batters’ concentration on the game. Korea, which will play three preliminary games in Group A, will play against Taiwan on the 2nd. If they beat Chinese Taipei, they can advance to the super round as first place in their group and take a shortcut to the finals, but if they lose, they will have to overcome a difficult road. Will Ryu Joong-il be able to erase the memory of the disaster and return home?

The ‘Gold Medal Expedition’s journey to Hangzhou is about to begin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top