“I think they do it to make good things happen during the main game.”

‘Lee Kang-cheol-ho’, the Korean baseball team, suffered a terrible mischief ahead of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC). During the camp in Tucson, Arizona, USA, it was difficult due to rain, strong winds and cold. Two practice games were canceled due to the weather, and the coaching staff’s plan to improve the pitchers’ condition as much as possible before returning home was disrupted. On his way home, he suffered a bad news that the plane could not take off on time due to an aircraft defect. After being trapped in the plane for more than an hour, the national team took an eight-hour bus ride to LA Airport and boarded a flight to Korea. 카지노

The Korean national team, which has been given a ‘vaccination to prevent bad news’, will begin its WBC schedule in earnest with the match against Australia held at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on March 9th. Korea was tied in Group B in the first round of the finals along with Australia, Japan, China and the Czech Republic. Of the five teams, at least the second place in the group is required to advance to the second round, which will be held from March 15th. Given that both Korea and Japan have secured three wins, the first and second place in the group is expected to be determined by the win or loss of the Korea-Japan match to be held on March 10.

That’s why the first leg against Australia is important. If the match against Australia is twisted and the pitcher is used up, or if the key players are in poor condition, the burden against Japan will inevitably increase. Coach Lee Kang-cheol also emphasized the importance of the first game, saying, “I think of the game against Australia as the top priority.”

Former Hanwha mercenary Saupold, target for the Korean War

What is the level of strength of the WBC Australia team this time? There are many evaluations that if you look at the sum of objective pitching powers, it is not a level to be very wary of. Most active major leaguers who were expected to participate in this tournament did not attend due to personal reasons. Aaron Whitefield (LA Angels) is the only player with MLB experience last year in the final entry for the Australian national team. Other than that, the team was mostly made up of minor leaguers from Triple-A or Double-A, or veterans who once played in the minors.

One of his strengths is the mound, which is dominated by fastball pitchers. NC Dinos battery coach Yoon Soo-gang, who recently went to Australia as a coaching staff member of ‘Geelong Korea’, said, “Most of the pitchers selected for the Australian national team throw fast balls in the mid-to-late 140km/h average. The pitchers stood out,” he said.

Warwick Saupold, a former foreign pitcher for the Hanwha Eagles, is likely to be the starting pitcher for the Korean War. Having experienced the KBO League in 2019 and 2020, Saupold knows Korean baseball and the tendencies of hitters. Although he belonged to the weakest Hanwha at the time, he achieved double-digit multipliers for two consecutive years by using various pitches such as two-seam, cutter, and changeup as his main weapon. Coach Yoon Soo-kang said, “I saw him in Australia, and he still maintains a speed in the mid-140km/h range. Like a veteran, he fights with the ball movement and timing rather than strength,” he said.

In the bullpen, young pitchers in their 20s are the targets to be wary of. A scout for Major League Baseball’s A team said, “Coen Wynn, a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher, deserves attention this year. He was a Colorado Rockies minor league pitcher and throws a curveball and changeup well.”

An official from Major League Baseball’s B team said, “Tall left-handed pitcher John Kennedy can be difficult for first-time hitters.” Kennedy, who is 201 cm tall, is from the minor leagues of the Atlanta Braves and has a stable command. In addition, Kyle Glogowski, a Cincinnati Reds minor leaguer, can play in the Korean game as a pitcher who has consistently experienced international competitions since childhood.

There is also a secret weapon that throws a light speed ball. Right-hander Liam Doolan, a member of the LA Dodgers minor league, is the hidden weapon of the Australian national team. Doolan, 23, signed with the Dodgers in August of last year after playing in the Australian domestic league. His strong point is his fastball in the second half of 150 km/h, which is 196 cm tall. Among the videos posted on personal social media (SNS), there is also a scene where he throws 160 km/h. A team scout said, “He is a pitcher who throws a fast ball in the 95-98 mph range with a dynamic pitching form.

He has a lot of loopholes in his batting line, unlike a fairly solid mound. A team scout said, “The player to be wary of among the batters is Jared Dale, who has good contact ability and bat speed. We expect him to form a table setter with quick-footed outfielder Aaron Whitefield.” A team B scout said, “Catcher Alex Hall, infielder Rickson Wingrove, Robbie Glandining, and outfielder Andrew Campbell are expected to form the center of the batting line. They have good power in common, but lack of sophistication is a downside.”

Most Australian hitters respond to fast balls and sliders to some extent, but it is said that they show a clear weakness for downward breaking balls. Coach Yoon Su-gang predicted, “In the KBO league, there are many hitters with a style similar to foreign batters who fail and return because they cannot respond to breaking balls. If the national team’s pitchers have high-quality breaking balls, they will be able to attack them sufficiently.” In an interview with reporters during the US camp, coach Lee Kang-cheol also hinted at the possibility of sidearm Ko Young-pyo’s selection in the game against Australia, saying, “Australian players showed weakness in the breaking ball of Geelong Korea’s underhand pitchers.”

Japanese pitching staff filled with fireballers

After safely playing the game against Australia, the next day we will meet Japan, the ‘championship candidate’. With the goal of winning this tournament, Japan mobilized the best stars in Japanese professional baseball and active major leaguers. 2021 American League MVP Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) also joined. Korea has two active major leaguers (Tommy Edman and Kim Ha-seong), but Japan has five. An official from the technical committee acknowledged, “I hate to admit it, but it is true that Japan is ahead in terms of objective power.”

Japanese pitchers are lined with 150km/h fireballers. A team scout said, “In the past, the Japanese national team would have had one or two submarine pitchers, but this national team is all filled with fastball pitchers. At least Hirota Miyagi (Orix Buffaloes) is the type that throws with a low three-quarters.” The pitcher throws fastballs and splitters and cutters, which will be difficult for hitters.”

Darvish (San Diego Padres) is likely to be the Japanese starting pitcher Korea will face. Ace Ohtani is expected to play against China on March 9, adjusting his pitching schedule to coincide with the opening game of the regular season for his team, the Los Angeles Angels. Most Japanese media predict that Ohtani will appear against China on the 9th, Darvish against Korea on the 10th, Roki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte Marines) against the Czech Republic on the 11th, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix) against Australia on the 12th.

It is not something to be liked for avoiding Ohtani. Although he is 36 years old, Darvish recorded an average speed of 95 miles (152 km/h) last year, the second fastest average speed (96 miles in 2020) after his debut on the American stage. Here, it boasts a variety of pitches and rich experience in international competitions to the extent that it is said that there is no ball that cannot be thrown. KBSN Sports commentator Kim Tae-gyun, who has experience dealing with Darvish in Japanese professional baseball and international competitions, recently appeared on the Internet broadcasting ‘Guracheol’ and said, “Darvish is the best pitcher in all pitches in a baseball game. Nothing comes straight. It curves like a snake flying in, and the fastball comes alive.”

A team B scout also said, “Darvish is a top-notch pitcher on the American stage. On good days, he throws a ball so good that even big league hitters have a hard time. However, on days when the slider doesn’t work well, he tends to struggle a little.” The good news from Korea’s point of view is that Darvish has to come to Korea right away without appearing in the actual game. Active major leaguers cannot participate in practice games other than the WBC official evaluation due to insurance. As for the Korean national team, it is necessary to attack Darvish in the early stages, before he can adapt to the mound and pitch, and bring him down as early as possible. In Round 1 of the WBC, the number of pitches per game is limited to 65 or less. If he can call the bullpen pitchers before the 4th inning, he is a big success for Korea.

A team B scout said, “The Korean national team’s lineup has a stronger left-handed hitter line than right-handed hitters. As in Australia, I think Japan will actively utilize left-handed pitchers in the bullpen.” A team scout said, “Most of the Japanese bullpen pitchers throw splitters, but it is not easy to attack in a short time because it is a splitter that is difficult for Korean batters to encounter often. It may be unfamiliar to the Korean analysis team and others.” He added, “There is room for Japan’s generational change to work in Korea’s favor. Many of the pitchers are players who have only been established as key players in their team for two to three years.”

Will there be a new left-handed lineup for ‘Koo Chang-mo and Lee Eui-ri’?

In the other lineup, Munetaka Murakami (Yakult), who hit 56 homers last year, Kazuma Okamoto (Yomiuri), Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox), and Hotaka Yamakawa (Seibu Lions) ), Tetsuto Yamada (Yakult), and Sosuke Genda (Seibu) are expected to form the top lineup. Ohtani, who doubles as a pitcher, can also come out as a key hitter in the Korean game. “There are many good hitters in Korea, but Japan is far superior in terms of long-running power,” said a team B scout who said, “If hitters like Yamada and Yoshida give up their greed for big things and focus on accurate hitting, they will become a more threatening batting order.” did.

However, the vacancy of outfielder Suzuki Seiya (Chicago Cubs), who dropped out due to a side injury, is a variable for Japan. With the departure of Suzuki, who was likely to be the starting right fielder, Japan had to appoint Kensuke Kondo (Softbank) as the starting lineup, or shift Yoshida, who lacks defensive power, to the right field and appoint an infielder (Okamoto) to the left field. The offensive power of outfielders, who are mentioned as substitute resources for Suzuki, does not reach Suzuki’s level. It is worth paying attention to whether coach Lee Kang-cheol will select proven veterans Kim Gwang-hyun and Yang Hyeon-jong as starters for the game against Japan, or whether he will boldly appoint new faces Koo Chang-mo and Lee Eui-ri as starters.

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