“Unconditionally, (Yang) Eui-ji throws what senior wants to throw. At the WBC, I shook my head at senior (Yang) Eui-ji and threw what I wanted and got hit.” 메이저사이트
This is what Doosan native ace Gwak Bin (24) said right after the KIA game in Gwangju on the 9th. It is dangerous for the pitcher to nod his head inertia to the catcher’s ball combination. He has a solid game plan, and he clearly feels it through the ball mix he leads.
However, if the catcher is Yang Eui-ji and Gwak Bin, the story is a bit different. Yang Eui-ji is the No. 1 catcher in the KBO League. His ability to lead and react to the game is excellent. The ability to assemble a game by comprehensively judging the condition of the pitcher and batter, key data, game situation and surrounding environment is unmatched.
On the other hand, Kwak Bin is still an inexperienced pitcher. However, he has a great weapon: a 150km fastball. He has tremendous potential to develop into a big starting pitcher. So, the meeting between the two is special. Yang Eui-ji makes up for Gwakbin’s lack of experience, and with Yang Eui-ji’s help, Kwak Bin can increase the probability of reaching his potential.
In that respect, if you look at the contents of Gwak Bin’s pitching that day, you can see that it was clearly different from the match against Jamsil NC on the 4th. The NC match blocked 7 innings with 2 hits, 10 strikeouts, 1 walk and no runs. It was a perfectly scratched day, threatened with force. On the other hand, against KIA, he gave up 4 hits, 7 strikeouts, 4 walks and 2 runs (visa book) in 5⅓ innings.
He had a fastball of 151 km, but he pitched a ball that was completely broken. When the KIA hitters couldn’t properly cope with Kwak Bin’s curve, he actively utilized it. For fastball pitchers, a slow curve is a very good timing stealer. A game that held up well, going with sliders and the like. Instead, the power was slightly reduced.
Maybe it was because the game was played five days after throwing 94 pitches. Kwakbin said, “It’s not like that. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling well. It was hard. It is because it is still in the stage of raising the number of pitches. I couldn’t hit the ball. On the contrary, the balance got better after the 5th episode.”
With a starting pitcher playing full-time, there aren’t many games where he pitches in peak condition. Kwak Bin, who has been to the WBC, has yet to fully develop his stamina. The important thing is that catcher Yang Eui-ji accurately saw through such a state of Gwak Bin and then took a customized game lead. As a result, Kwak Bin did not allow a single ERA in two consecutive games. It is unreasonable to say that it is entirely thanks to Yang Eui-ji, but it is true that she received the ‘Yang Eui-ji buff’. He himself admitted it too.
Kwak Bin said, “If there is a pitch that a hitter cannot hit, Ui-ji makes him keep throwing it until he hits it.” In a word, it means to persistently dig into pitches that showed weakness. That was the case with the curve that day. Kwak Bin threw as Yang Eui-ji led, and he fully trusted Yang Eui-ji while experiencing the results and effects. His over-willingness is a no-go, but getting a lot of help is a catalyst for growth until he’s more established as a starting pitcher.
At the same time, Kwak Bin shook his head at Yang Eui-ji at the WBC and brought up the story of getting hit. It refers to the third round of the Group B qualifier against the Czech Republic on March 11th. That day, Kwak Bin took the mound as the second pitcher, giving up 2 runs with 2 hits, 3 strikeouts in 1⅓ innings. He came up from 2 out in the 5th and blocked it well until the 6th, but in the 7th, lead batters Eric Sogard and Marek Schlub hit consecutive hits and passed the mound to Cheol-Won Jeong.
He threw a changeup with a full count to Sogard and got a right-handed hit. He straddled the border line, but the cow guards handled it well. It was the moment when three four-seams turned into balls one after another, and a breaking ball match was expected. Schulup also chose an 8-pitch changeup with a full count, but gave up a right-handed hit. It was a ball that went completely low, but Schlub hit it well. It means that one of the two batters did not go as Yang Eui-ji’s calculation.
The 2023 WBC will forever remain a painful memory in Korean baseball. Would it be fun to be called Kwak Bin? Of course not. However, while Kwak Bin paid a high price, it became an opportunity to broaden the spectrum of baseball, such as the importance of his pitching design and breathing with the catcher. Just deciding to believe in Yang Eui-ji’s ball combination in the wake of the match against Czech Republic was an income for Kwak Bin’s baseball.
It’s only two games, but it’s a strong start. He struck out 17 with 6 hits and 5 walks in 12⅓ innings. 1 win, zero ERA. Among the pitchers who have been to the WBC, he is by far the best. There is a possibility that he will shed an egg this year and be reborn as a true ace of Doosan.