Doosan Bears ace Kwak-Bin pitches a gem of a game. Doosan Bears native ace Kwak-Bin Kwak led his team to victory with a strong performance.
Kwak Bin Kwak pitched six innings of two-hit ball, striking out nine and walking one to earn his 12th win of the season against the KIA Tigers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday.
Kwak Bin was named to the roster for the Hangzhou Asian Games. He was the de facto national ace. However, he returned after one game without throwing a single pitch.
He was suffering from back gall. He was preparing for the first game of the group stage against Hong Kong when the symptoms appeared. He continued to receive treatment and hoped to get better, but he was unable to take the mound in the final against Chinese Taipei. Luckily, Liu Zhong-il-ho won the gold medal and brought home the gold.
However, Kwok Bin couldn’t smile as much as he wanted to. He was upset and full of regret.
Doosan’s Kwak Bin now. The team is still in the race for the top five. Doosan is currently in 5th place. They are 0.5 games behind 4th place NC (73 wins, 2 draws, 65 losses) and 1 game behind 3rd place SSG (73 wins, 3 draws, 64 losses). Depending on the outcome of their remaining matches, they could move up to third place.
It was time for Kwak-bin to step up to the plate. After rejoining the team, he checked his physical condition again and was cleared to pitch against Jamsil KIA on the 13th. Kwak-bin was eager for that day.
Before the game, manager Lee Seung-yeop said, 메이저놀이터“He keeps throwing with good command. There are still some symptoms, but it’s not a situation where he can’t throw in the game. Binyi said he was fine today, so I prepared for today. I’m sure he’ll be fine,” he said.
Kwak got off to a good start, unleashing a 150-kilometer fastball on the first batter, Kim Do-young. Three pitches later, he lined it to right field. He fought a full count against Ko Jong-wook and again used a fastball to get him to swing wildly. He walked Kim Sun-bin, but got Socrates to fly out to center field with a 151-kilometer fastball.
In the second inning, a walk and a wild pitch put runners on second and third, but he struck out Kim Ho-ryung to end the inning.
In the third, he settled down again. This time, he changed his pitch mix. He pitched mostly changeups. After striking out Kim Kyu-sung and Kim Do-young with sliders, Kwak Bin struck out Ko Jong-wook with a curveball.
With the help of the bats, the team took a 3-0 lead, but Kwak gave up a run right away. In the fourth inning, he gave up a leadoff single to Kim Sun-bin in right-center and then moved him to second on a throwing error. He then gave up a single to left to Socrates. With runners on first and third, Lee Woo-sung hit a sacrifice fly to center field to trade outs for a run. Kim Tae-gun grounded out to shortstop and Byun Woo-hyuk struck out to end the threat.
The fifth inning was clean. After walking the first batter, Kim Ho-ryung, on four pitches, he got Kim Kyu-sung to fly out to left field and then struck out Kim Do-young on a full count to end the inning.
Despite throwing 94 pitches, Kwak-Bin was still on the mound in the sixth inning. He showed off his power by striking out Ko Jong-wook and Kim Sun-bin in succession. He got Socrates to ground out to second base to complete the sixth inning.
He threw a total of 109 pitches, reaching a maximum velocity of 152 kilometers per hour. He mixed 35 fastballs, 54 sliders, eight changeups and 12 curves to keep the KIA bats at bay.
After the game, Kwak said, “My balance was so good after joining the national team that I thought, ‘Only good things can happen now,’ but I forgot about it when I got the bile. “I didn’t feel very good at the beginning of the day, but with my coach helping me and my brothers giving me points, I was able to throw with confidence,” he reflected.
He’s not completely out of the woods. “It’s not 100% healed,” said Kwok Bin. It’s still there, but it’s not something I’m going to throw with. I threw a lot of pitches and came down after six innings.”
While his performance moved Doosan closer to advancing to the top five, he was still disappointed with his performance at the Asian Games.
“I’ve been waiting since the Super Round against China. I pitched, and in the final, I loosened my arm from the second inning, but (Moon) Dong-ju pitched so well that I thought it was better to leave it to Pil-Seung-jo, so I didn’t pitch in the second half.” “It’s my own fault for not taking care of myself. I think I need to keep trying to be healthier in the future,” he reflected.
According to Kwok Bin, the symptoms appeared two hours before the first match against Hong Kong. “I told the training staff and they said it was better to rest, so I took a break. The next day, he played catch, but things got worse when he started feeling sick that night. My fever rose to 39 degrees. The next day, he received three injections that didn’t help, so on his day off, he received another muscle-tearing injection.
“It was so hard,” says Kwok Bin. I apologized to all the players, and when they realized that I was sick and uncomfortable, my teammates and older brothers said it was okay and gave me a lot of encouragement,” he said.
Kwak Bin, who felt that he still had a lot to work on, said, “I feel like I have a little bit of a weight off my shoulders now. If I’m selected for the next national team, I’ll really want to show it then.”
The last pitch of the season is over. Now he has his eyes on the bigger stage. ”I have to be better than I was two years ago,” said Kwak Bin. Of course, I have to throw hard,” he said.