The fateful Korea-Japan match. Can Korean baseball be saved from the brink? Kim Kwang-Hyun will be selected for the Korea-Japan match.

The Korean baseball team lost 7-8 in the first round of Group B of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) against Australia held at Tokyo Dome, Japan at 12:00 noon on the 9th.스포츠토토

As a result, Korea faced the risk of being eliminated in the first round, failing to catch the first game that it had been focusing on before the tournament. Now, Korea will face Japan (10th), the Czech Republic (12th), and China (13th) in turn. The top two teams from Group B will advance to the second round.

After the defeat, coach Lee Kang-cheol revealed that he was Kim Gwang-hyun without hiding it when asked by Japanese reporters about the starting pitcher for the Korea-Japan match.

The atmosphere has changed after the defeat in Australia. Prior to the selection for the game against Australia, manager Lee maintained strict security while remaining silent until the deadline for submission of starting pitchers (9:00 p.m. the previous day).

In response, Australian national team coach Dave Nielsen said at an official press conference ahead of the game on the morning of the 9th, “I wasn’t very surprised that Korea changed the selection (unlike originally expected). That part is also Korea’s consistent strategy.” I did too.

The selection to play against Japan was also made public after the Japan-China match (started at 7:00 p.m. on the 9th). However, director Lee boldly chose to reveal it.

In response to a Japanese reporter’s question, “How to deal with Korea-Japan match,” Lee said, “Since we lost one game anyway, now we have to go all-out in all the remaining matches. There is also the uniqueness of the Korea-Japan match, but in order to advance to the quarterfinals (2nd round), it is unconditional. We have to win,” he said, expressing his determination to win.

Japanese reporters also asked, “The Japanese national team has many major leaguers, so how will they deal with them?” In response, coach Lee said, “I don’t think I’m a major leaguer, but I think I’m the same player. I’ll focus on winning. I’ll do my best to create a good attack route so that I can win.”

Continuing to ask questions about the mound operation plan for the Korea-Japan match, he said, “First of all, I will check (the pitchers’) physical condition. Tomorrow is a night game (7:00 pm on the 10th), so there is still plenty of time. I will prepare all personnel. Anyway (per pitcher) At least) I have to deal with three batters. I will use all the pitchers,” he said, expressing his will for an all-out war.

Kim Gwang-hyun participated in a total of 16 games in international competitions, recording an average ERA of 3.43 with 5 wins and 3 losses. Above all, he is a pitcher familiar to Japanese fans. Kim Gwang-hyun, who made his debut as a national team member at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, earned a reputation as a ‘Japanese killer’. He pitched well against Japan in the Beijing Olympics qualifiers, conceding one run in 5⅓ innings. Then, in the finals, he started against Japan in the semifinals, and fought well with 6 hits, 5 strikeouts and 2 runs in 8 innings.

On the other hand, in the 2009 WBC tournament, he bowed his head against Japan with 7 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 8 runs in 1⅓ innings. In the end, the team suffered a cold game loss in the 7th inning.

On this day, among the Japanese reporters, a question came up saying, ‘Why did Kim Kwang-hyun, who is well known in Japan, be selected as a starter again?’ In response, coach Lee said, “If we had gone to the match (today’s match against Australia), I would have put Kim Gwang-hyun into the bullpen.” “I know each other well, but I have no choice but to choose an experienced pitcher. I hope that player will lead me well.”

In the end, the reason why Kim Gwang-hyun was chosen as the starter for the Korea-Japan match. This is because Kim Gwang-hyun’s ‘experience’ is more reliable than other cards in a difficult situation due to the defeat against Australia.

Kim Gwang-hyeon has to deal with heavy hitters in Japan. Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who is writing a new history in the major leagues, and Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows), who hit 56 home runs in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), will face each other. In addition, Masataka Yoshida, who moved to the Boston Red Sox this season, is also on standby. The unilateral support of Japanese fans at the Tokyo Dome is also burdensome.

Kim Gwang-hyun’s starting opponent is ‘veteran big leaguer’ Darvish Yu (37, San Diego Padres). Ha-seong Kim’s teammate, Darvish, along with Shohei Ohtani, are the spiritual pillars of Japanese baseball. From 2012 to last season, he pitched in 242 major league games, recording 95 wins and 75 losses with an ERA of 3.50. Last season, he went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA in 30 games.

In response to a question about Darvish, coach Lee expressed his will to win, saying, “I’ve seen Darvish for a long time, but he’s a good pitcher. All of our players know how to throw and catch. We’re preparing.”

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