The 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) Korean national team, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, was convened for the first time in Arizona,안전놀이터 USA on the 15th (local time) and trained. Korean baseball, which suffered the humiliation of being eliminated in the first round in two consecutive tournaments in 2013 and 2017 after the performance of the semifinals in 2006 and runner-up in 2009, the first WBC tournament, is paying attention to whether it will succeed in recovering its pride this time.
The role of the pitching staff, especially the starting pitcher, is very important in an international tournament held as a short game. No matter how good the bullpen is, if the starting pitcher collapses in the early stages and takes the lead, it is very difficult to reverse. However, concerns are being raised that it is difficult to select a clear starting pitcher who can take responsibility for a game in the starting lineup of the WBC national team.
Among the 15 pitchers in the national team, the oldest are Kim Gwang-hyeon (SSG) and Yang Hyeon-jong (KIA), born in 1988. In particular, attention is being paid to what role Kim Gwang-hyun, who led the SSG Landers’ combined championship by making a U-turn from the major leagues to the KBO League last year, will play as a starting pitcher in the WBC.
Last year, Kim Gwang-hyun recorded an overwhelming detailed indicator of 13 wins, 3 losses, an ERA of 2.13 and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.578. The average speed of his fastball decreased by 1.7 km/h from 147.1 km/h just before entering the major leagues to 145.4 km/h last year. However, he showed off his skill by using not only his main weapon slider, but also various curveballs and forkballs. In the past, if he was a power pitcher who relied on strength, he has now transformed into a veteran with excellent speed control.
Kim Gwang-hyun has painful memories from the 2009 tournament, his only WBC appearance. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, his second year as a pro, he made two starts against Japan, including the semifinals, and fought hard, leading the team to victory and helping to win the gold medal. The reputation of the ‘Japanese killer’ naturally followed Kim Gwang-hyun.
The following year, at the WBC held in 2009, Kim Gwang-hyun’s selection against Japan was a natural step. However, in the Asian Round, where he met Japan for the first time, Kim Gwang-hyun was hit hard with 7 hits, 1 home run and 8 runs in 1.1 innings and was knocked out early. Korea was humiliated by losing the 7th cold game 2-14. Afterwards, Korea, which reversed itself with good fighting from Bong Joong-geun and Yoon Seok-min, won the runner-up.
However, Kim Gwang-hyun left a deep regret as he could not find his true self until the end of the tournament, perhaps because of the difficulty in his first game against Japan. If Kim Kwang-hyeon showed a pitch worthy of his name, Korea could have won the championship.
14 years later, this WBC will be Kim Gwang-hyun’s second WBC participation. In the meantime, it is no exaggeration to say that Kim Gwang-hyun has experienced all kinds of battles, such as going through the major leagues. Indeed, various stories are coming out about whether Kim Gwang-hyun will start again against Japan in this WBC, or whether another pitcher will start.
Kim Gwang-hyeon, who is about to turn 35, is predicted that this WBC will be the last tournament in which he will wear the Taegeuk mark. Attention is focusing on whether Kim Gwang-hyun will succeed in resolving the 2009 WBC and take the lead in restoring the honor of Korean baseball. [Related article] Kang Baek-ho, eager to restore his honor, will he show his true worth
at the WBC? (Written by Lee Yong-seon / Supervised by: Reporter Min Sang-hyun) Inquire about articles and support sports creators [