“My lifespan is reduced by one year”

Doosan Bears’ Kwak Bin Kwak started the seventh game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the Lotte Giants at Munsoo Baseball Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea, and pitched six innings, throwing 104 pitches, giving up two hits, five walks, and striking out two.토토사이트

There’s no doubt that the title of “ace” was well-deserved. On the day, Kwak threw a mix of curveballs (24), sliders (19), and changeups (10) with a fastball that topped out at 149 kilometers (51 pitches) to record a quality start (six innings and three earned runs or less) and pick up his seventh win of the season (2-2). As impressive as his pitching was, it was his role that stood out.

Doosan was in the midst of a two-game losing streak before Kwak-Bin made his return after being scratched from the first team for the second time this year due to a back injury. The team was in desperate need of an “ace.” Kwak-Bin’s return came at a good time. On March 11, he pitched six innings against the KIA Tigers, allowing two runs (two earned) to bail the team out of a losing streak.

The “streak stopper” role didn’t end there. Doosan was on a three-game losing streak before facing the LG Twins on the 17th, and once again, Kwak Bin took the mound and pitched six innings of two-run (two earned) relief, and on the 23rd, he pitched six innings of one-run (one earned) relief against the Kiwoom Heroes to snap the team’s four-game losing streak.

And with the team’s fifth-place defense in jeopardy of falling to the bottom of the standings, the ‘Ace’ once again stepped up to the plate and delivered his best performance yet. The start of the game was uneventful. Kwak Bin pitched a ‘perfect’ game against the Lotte bats, allowing only two hits from the first to the fourth inning. He was at his best when he didn’t have much support from the batting lineup.

The first crisis came in the fifth inning. With the score at 1-0, Kwak Bin’s perfect game was interrupted in the bottom of the fifth inning when he gave up a single to Jeon Jun-woo, the leadoff hitter, and a walk to Park Seung-wook, putting runners on first and second base. However, Kwak was unfazed and got Yoo Kang-nam to fly out to left field and then struck out the next batter, Kim Min-seok, to get out of the jam.

His crisis management skills were on full display in the sixth inning. This time, it wasn’t a lucky escape, but pure skill. Kwak gave up walks to Ko Seung-min and Ahn Chi-hong and a single to Yoon Dong-hee, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Kwak-Bin got Jack Rex to fly out to shallow center field to give himself a breather, induced a grounder to second base for the next batter, Jeon Jun-Woo, and then got Han Dong-Hee to ground out to third base to end the threat.

Doosan held on to the lead until the bottom of the inning as Kwak Bin pitched a perfect game. They took a one-run lead in the top of the ninth thanks to Kang Seung-ho’s solo home run, then gave up a run in the bottom of the ninth, but were able to hold on for the win and finally snap a two-game losing streak.

After the game, Chung, who saved the day in the bottom of the ninth inning with runners on second and third, said, “I had a big desire to win. I threw confidently as I remembered my good performance on the days when (Kwak) Binyi started from last year to this year,” he said, “and (Kwak) Binyi smiled at me. I’m going to ask him to buy me a coffee venti size one,” he said happily.

When Kwak Bin heard the news, he asked, “Do you want me to buy you coffee again?” and then added, “I think I’ll have to do it again. I’m grateful that (Chung) Chul-won didn’t score on my pitch. He has a different brain structure. I thought he was going to throw another forkball because of his confidence. (Yang) Willie blocked it really well. Every time I see something like that, I feel like I’m losing a year of life,” he joked, smiling broadly.

Despite her recent four-game winning streak, Kwak Bin struggled with a number of things, including adjusting to the unfamiliar mound at Munsu Baseball Stadium. Kwak Bin said, “It was a tough start for me because there’s not much difference between us and Lotte. My balance was really bad. But thanks to a good lead from senior (Yang) Ji-won, I threw well. I had a lot of confidence until the day before (on the 30th), but the mound didn’t feel right,” he said, adding, “I held my spring camp (in 2021) at Munsu Baseball Stadium, but it was my first time on the mound, so I went back and forth (with the pitching plate) about three times.”

“Barnes pitched really well except for the first inning,” he said. “I didn’t want to give up any runs. I didn’t think we should give him a run. I felt like we shouldn’t give up a run. Even with the bases loaded, I was like, ‘I don’t think he’s going to give up any runs,'” he said, adding that in the ninth inning, with runners on second and third, “I thought (Chung) could really stop him. Yesterday (Oct. 30), I got hit by Yoon Dong-hee, and I felt like if I got hit again, the mood would be really bad, but I didn’t feel like I was going to get hit because I trusted (Chung).”

Since returning from injury, Kwak Bin has snapped a four-fight losing streak: two straight, three straight, four straight, and two straight. A true “ace in the hole. “I think it’s really fortunate that I came out and broke the losing streak. Next time, I hope it’s a winning streak,” he smiled. Kwak Bin made the best of an unfamiliar stadium in the worst of conditions. It’s no wonder he was named to the Korean National Team for the Hangzhou Asian Games following the World Baseball Classic (WBC).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *