‘KT has a lot of right-handed hitters…’ ‘150km sidearm pitcher missing, left-handed bullpen’ ‘Miracle hitter’ sniper?
The LG Twins’ 30-man roster for the Korean Series had an unexpected change.
Park Myung-geun, who played in the first team despite being a high school graduate and served as the team’s middle reliever, was missing. Of the 30 players, 14 were pitchers. There were some disappointing omissions, including Lee Ji-gang, who had been a substitute starter alongside Park Myung-geun.
Left-handed reliever Lee Woo-chan joined the roster, and Son Joo-young replaced Lee Ji-gang in the Korean Series.
Park’s absence from the Korean Series is a bit of a shock. He was a prospect that LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop had been watching since he was the KBO’s technical commissioner last year, and he was drafted in the third round by LG when Yoon took over as manager. Yoon immediately invited him to Arizona’s first-team camp to see what he could do and gave him a pass. His fastball, which throws over 145 kilometers, his quick motion within a second, and his strong mentality to pitch aggressively in crunch time, even as a rookie, impressed Yeom.
Park Myung-geun played in the first team from the opening day and was a must-win for the team. On April 16, the sixth game of his debut, he recorded his first hold against Doosan in Jamsil and his first save against NC in Changwon on May 2. The next day, on May 3, he recorded his first save in the NC.
On July 8, he was removed from the first team for treatment and rehabilitation due to a bad elbow that had been bothering him since high school, and returned on August 15 after a long break.
However, his velocity dropped after his return and he never regained his early form. After going 4-0 with five saves and a 3.25 ERA in 36 games in the first half of the season, Park went 3-0 with no wins and a 9.39 ERA in 21 games in the second half.
He had three long weeks to recover in preparation for the Korean Series, but it wasn’t enough. He showed signs of recovery in the last Blue-Black game in Jamsil on April 4, throwing 146km, but he still looked shaky as he was hit by a home run by Park Hae-min. The KT Wiz had mostly right-handed hitters, so Park seemed to be needed, but the LG coaching staff decided that his delivery wasn’t quite up to par.
Lee Woo-chan came in with runners on first and third in the sixth inning of the Blue-White game on April 4 and got out of the jam by striking out Kim Joo-sung, then came in in the seventh inning and gave up a single to Ahn Ik-hoon, but got Choi Hyun-joon to ground out to first base and then got Koo Bon-hyeok to hit a line drive to first base to end the inning with a runner on second who didn’t make it home.
KT has a lot of right-handed hitters, but they also have a left-handed bullpen with Kim Min-hyuk, who hit the dramatic game-winning hit in Game 5 of the playoffs. 아톰카지노 도메인
Against KT this season, Park Myung-geun has four shutouts in eight games, but he has given up 10 hits and eight runs (six earned) in five innings for a 10.80 ERA. Lee Woo-chan had three holds in three games and a zero ERA with three hits and no runs in 2⅓ innings.
As for Lee Ji-gang, he impressed as a substitute starter, but fell short at the end of the season. Son Ju-young, who returned from an elbow injury, pitched five solid innings of two-hit ball in his season-ending start against Lotte, giving LG’s mound a much-needed boost with no left-handed pitchers.
It’s a disappointment for the likes of Park Myung-geun and Lee Ji-gang, who both had solid regular-season performances. But the team had to play its best cards to win the Korean Series.