From the moment the Taegeuk mark was worn, the thoughts of the team were the Taegeuk Warriors who had been put down for a while. However, unusual signs are being detected, such as the national team players who participated in the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) event eventually suffering aftereffects. Still, who can throw stones at those who did their best for the country?
While the KBO League is digesting the May schedule beyond the month of April, injuries are on the rise. In the Jamsil rivalry between Doosan Bears and LG Twins held the previous day (7th) at Jamsil Stadium, Kwak Bin (24, Doosan), who played an active part in the national team, complained of back pain and eventually came down the mound while pitching.
Because Kwak Bin played so well in April, he was classified as a pitcher far from the aftermath of the WBC. He started 5 games in April and was playing the role of a ‘local ace’ with 3 wins, 1 loss and an average ERA of 0.88. Even coach Lee Seung-yeop, the head coach, praised him, saying, “Kwak Bin is playing the role of the first starter.”
Such Kwak Bin eventually collapsed in the game against LG in Jamsil on the 7th. From the first episode, the signs were not serious. He threw 4 balls in a row and allowed a walk despite a 0-2 ball count against lead batter Hong Chang-ki. The jig continued to shake. In the end, he allowed 1 hit and 2 walks while giving up 2 runs while throwing 22 balls in the first inning alone.
In the second inning, Park Dong-won gave up three hits and a walk, including a left-handed solo shot. He then suddenly complained of pain in his lower back when he sent Moon Seong-joo, whom he had last faced, on a walk. He pointed directly at the dugout and hurriedly called the trainer. Kwak Bin sat down on the mound and could no longer throw the ball. 1⅓ innings (total 41 pitches) 4 hits (1 home run) 3 walks 6 runs allowed voluntarily. A Doosan official said, “I was replaced due to back pain.” Gwak Bin’s ERA, which he managed well in April, soared to 2.53. The team eventually lost 1-11 on the day.
In fact, Kwak Bin played last month while suffering from back pain. It was also the reason he took an extra break after pitching well with 5 innings and 1 run against KT in Jamsil on the 21st. Afterwards, he fought well against SSG on the 30th with 2 hits, 7 strikeouts and no runs in 6 innings, but in the end, the commander’s ominous premonition was not wrong. Prior to the game on the 7th, coach Lee said, “Recently, my back has not been good, but I believe that if there is no problem on this day, I will give you a good pitching”, but I got sick.
Not only Kwak Bin, but players who participated in the WBC tournament are struggling with big and small injuries and sluggishness. The national team players selected for the WBC team improved their physical condition faster than in previous years. I prepared everything earlier than others by focusing all on the WBC tournament, not the opening of the regular season. Therefore, his usual routine had no choice but to be broken, and this seems to lead to aftereffects.
Woo-seok Ko “Closer” has already left LG. Ko Woo-seok, who complained of shoulder pain during a practice match right before the WBC tournament, was diagnosed with supraspinatus muscle inflammation in his right shoulder. He returned to the first team on the 18th of last month without participating in an exhibition match, but was canceled again from the first team entry on the last 1st. His performance this season was 1 win, 1 loss, 2 saves, and an ERA of 6.35. LG plans to put player protection as its top priority and not rush to return.
In addition, LG is메이저사이트 starting with Kim Yoon-shik under the management of the club. In addition, Jung Woo-young is recording an average ERA of 3.86 with 3 losses and 6 holds without a win this season, but he has yet to find his best pitch. On the team’s fielder side, Oh Ji-hwan was dropped from the ranks on the 8th of last month after being diagnosed with microscopic damage to the oblique muscle. Kim Hyun-soo, who was the captain of the national team, complained of discomfort in his back and was removed from the starting lineup and even took a break.
NC also was excluded from the first team entry on the 1st before Lee Yong-chan, the closer pitcher. Lee Yong-chan showed off his ‘untouchable’ dignity by scoring no goals in 7 consecutive games after the opening, but recently bowed his head by conceding 4 consecutive games. In particular, his earned run average rose to 6.35 as he faltered with 5 hits, 3 walks and 5 runs in 1 inning against Lotte on April 23. His record this season was 1 win, 1 loss and 5 saves. An NC official explained, “Recently, his condition has deteriorated due to increased fatigue. As a result of interviews with the manager and pitching coach, it was decided to give him a break after excluding the entry.”
KT’s situation is more serious. KT, led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, who served as the national team’s command tower, recorded 8 wins, 2 draws and 17 losses this season, falling to the bottom of the league. The day before, they lost against Hanwha in Daejeon and fell into a swamp of three consecutive defeats. Coach Lee Kang-cheol should also be seen as unable to be free from the aftereffects of the WBC. This is because, unlike other seasons, he was in charge of the national team during the spring camp, so he could not go all-in with his team.
Park Byung-ho, the “national giant,” also missed due to a hamstring injury. A KT official said, “As a result of the MRI examination (on May 1), damage to the left hamstring was confirmed. I was told that I needed treatment for about 3 weeks.” KT native ace Sohn Joon Sohn was also listed on the injured list after being diagnosed with a right forearm sprain on the 4th of last month.
Other teams are also in a bad situation. KIA Na Seong-beom has had a bad calf since the WBC, and eventually was diagnosed with muscle damage in the left calf. It is expected that a return will be possible only in June. SSG Choi Ji-hoon was withdrawn from the first-team entry on April 29 due to a sprained ankle ligament. Kiwoom Lee Jung-hoo played in 28 games and had a batting average of 0.221 (25 hits in 113 at-bats), 14 RBIs, 13 runs, 3 home runs, and an OPS of 0.663, which is not good.
Lotte Park Se-woong has yet to report his first win of the season and is marking an average ERA of 5.25 with one loss. SSG Kim Gwang-hyun is recording an average ERA of 4.30 (5 games) with 2 wins and no losses, NC Gu Chang-mo has an average ERA of 3.82 (6 games) with 2 losses without a win, and Samsung Won Tae-in is recording an average ERA of 4.55 (5 games) with 2 wins and 1 loss.
Still, who would dare to throw stones at them? Kim Won-joong, who showed his fighting spirit in the WBC tournament, said at the time of the tournament, “It’s my job to steadily prepare for the national team game. I’m only thinking about the tournament.” I’ll think about the season later. That’s for later.” All Taegeuk warriors were of one mind. I didn’t spare myself. And now they are returning to their team and doing their best.