He never showed up. Kwak-Bin Kwak, 24, Doosan, will get the nod on the mound.
Ryu Jung-il’s South Korean team defeated China 8-1 on Saturday in the Super Round of the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Xiaoxing Baseball and Softball Center 1 Baseball Field in Xiaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China. With the win, South Korea advances to the gold medal game with a 2-1 record, including the group stage and super round. They will face Chinese Taipei, a team they shocked in the group stage.
Won Tae-in started the game for South Korea. Won had started the previous day against Hong Kong and pitched four innings of one-hit ball, striking out eight and walking none. 캡틴토토 He was coming off a four-day break, but only threw 47 pitches.
Won went on to pitch six innings of three-hit ball, striking out six and walking none against China, a team that was favored to beat Japan.
Korea then went to Jeong Woo-young (LG), Jang Hyun-seok (Masan Yongmago), and Ko Woo-seok (LG), who combined to pitch three scoreless innings. Jang Hyun-seok gave up one run, but it was a bit of an unfortunate confluence of circumstances.
However, Kwak Bin, who has yet to make a start for South Korea, did not make an appearance against China.
Kwak-Bin was initially slated to start against Hong Kong, but was unable to do so due to a bout with the flu. Ahead of the final game of the group stage against Thailand, the KBO announced, “Kwak-Bin was unable to participate in the game against Hong Kong on the 1st due to bile symptoms in his back. He has decided not to play against Thailand today and plans to focus on his recovery for the Super Round.
Earlier in the day, Ryu called Kwak Bin and Moon Dong Joo his aces and said he expected them to play as a one-two punch. Moon Dong-joo fulfilled the role of ace as he pitched four innings of two-run relief against Chinese Taipei, their biggest rival for the gold medal. However, Kwak Bin has yet to take the mound as of the end of the Super Round.
After the 2-0 Super Round win over Japan on Oct. 5, Ryu said, “I’ve improved a lot and will be available tomorrow (Oct. 6),” but he did not pitch against China.
“I was planning to use him after Won Tae-yin today, but we had a big score difference early on, so I’ll use him tomorrow,” Ryu said.
This leaves Moon Dong-ju, who pitched against Chinese Taipei on the second day of the group stage, Na Kyun-an, who pitched against Thailand on the third day, and Kwak Bin, who has yet to pitch.
Moon Dong-ju pitched four innings of three-hit ball with one walk, three strikeouts and two runs against Chinese Taipei on Aug. 2, reaching 70 pitches. 70 pitches. If he starts the final game against Taiwan on July 7, he will be pitching on four days’ rest. This shouldn’t be too much of a stretch, as he has pitched on four days’ rest in the KBO before.
Na threw four innings of four-hit ball with nine strikeouts and no runs against Thailand on March 3, throwing 54 pitches. If he does start again against Taiwan, it will be on three days’ rest. Even if he is able to start, he is unlikely to go the distance. He’ll have to use a 1+1 strategy or bring in his bullpen early to prepare for the big game.
With Kwak Bin on the disabled list, South Korea’s pitching options are wide open. And last but not least, mobilizing the bullpen is fundamental.
This year, Kwak is on pace for his best season and career-high performance in the KBO with an 11-7 record and 2.97 ERA in 22 games. His most recent start was on September 18 against KIA (6 innings, 8 hits, 5 strikeouts, no runs). While his feel for the game could be an issue, his command and power shouldn’t be a problem.
If Kwak-Bin takes the mound, it will be his first and last appearance in Hangzhou. Will he be able to strike gold as a specialty joker in his final game and against a disastrous opponent?