‘107th pitch is 153km?’ Korean national team ace’s hard work, LG also admired…”You shot 155km”

April 13, 2024 | by

“Your fastball speed shot up to 155km. I think he’s a really good pitcher.”

LG Twins pitcher Casey Kelly (35) was impressed after watching Doosan Bears ace Kwak Bin (25) pitch. Since Kelly has been with LG since 2019, he is also the only foreign pitcher in the KBO League who has watched all of Kwak’s career. After graduating from Bae Myung High School, Kwak joined the team in 2018 as the first designated player, and after undergoing elbow surgery in his first year as a bullpen, he returned in 2021 and began his career as a starting pitcher in 2022. Doosan and LG were rivals in Jamsil, so they had to watch each other often, and since last year, Kwak Bin has become a regular member of the national team, and he has often thrown balls on the international stage.

At a game against LG in Jamsil on Sunday local time, Kwak displayed his best pitching of the season. He pitched well, allowing 108 pitches, two hits, three walks, and two strikeouts and two runs in six ⅔ innings. He stayed calm while pitching a tight race with Kelly, and managed to subdue LG’s batters. If he had finished well until the seventh inning, Kwak might have laughed at the last minute of the game.

He displayed good pitching capability. He posted a maximum fastball speed of 155 kilometers and an average speed of 152 kilometers on the day. He aggressively mixed curves (36), his main weapon, to steal timing from LG batters. He also mixed sliders (14) and change-ups (11) to confuse LG batters with various pitches.

It is no exaggeration to say that Kwak’s determination came from his desire for victory. Kwak has lost only three games in the four games he played this year. Two of them bowed their heads because they did not receive any scoring support even after recording quality starts, and faltered as they collapsed with six runs in five innings in the game against the Lotte Giants alone on the 6th.

After throwing 89 pitches through the sixth inning, Kwak took the mound in the seventh inning as well. Doosan was leading 1-0 in the bottom of the third inning thanks to Jung Soo-bin’s effort to score a point with a sacrifice fly. Kwak must have taken responsibility until the seventh inning when possible and handed the ball to the bullpen to keep his win no matter what.

Kwak did his best to the end. In the top of the seventh inning, he handled Austin Dean, the first batter, with a liner to the third baseman, before getting a hit to the right by Moon Bo-kyung. The changeup of the first pitch hit the batter. The result was most regrettable with Oh Ji-hwan. He tried to pull out a swing and miss by throwing curves at the sixth and seventh pitches at the ball count 2-2, but Oh didn’t respond. As Oh walked out, he was at the verge of hitting the first and second bases with one out.

Kwak faced Park Dong-won, who had 101 pitches and had the ability to hit long balls. Even when he exceeded 100 pitches, Kwak pushed Park Dong-won by inserting a 153 km/h fastball. He also shot 153 km/h with his 107th fastball. And he struck out Park Dong-won with a curveball on the seventh pitch in the full count, beating Han Gobi.

As the number of pitches increased to 108, Doosan’s bench decided to replace the pitcher after much consideration. With two outs, left-hander Lee Byung-hun was put on the mound ahead of the showdown with left-handed batter Moon Sung-joo, who was at the first and second bases. Kwak went into the dugout and prayed for Lee to secure the remaining out count.

However, Kwak’s wish was not fulfilled. Lee Byung-hun made it 1-1 after being hit by a timely hit to the right by left fielder that left the ball 3-space out by Moon Sung-joo. At Shin’s subsequent at-bat, LG replaced right fielder Koo Bon-hyuk. Doosan kept pushing Lee as it was, and Koo hit a timely hit to the right-center field, turning the game around 1-2. Both Moon and Koo hit Lee’s slider to produce timely hits. As soon as he missed his first chance to win the game in the dugout, Kwak expressed regret by closing his eyes and tilting his head back as he was on the verge of losing three consecutive games as the starting pitcher.

In the end, this scene was the winner and loser. Both teams failed to score an extra point and the game ended as it was. This was the victory as LG, which couldn’t find a way to attack Kwak, aggressively attacked Lee Byung-hun. Koo Bon-hyuk, who hit the final shot, said, “I hit it to aim for a fast fastball from the front. Even if you hit a slider at the right timing, it will produce a good result. Coach Mo Chang-min told me to watch it together because I have a fastball and two sliders.”

Even after the win, LG admired Kwak’s ball power. “It was a bit of a tough game due to Kwak’s ball power,” LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop said after the game. 업소알바

“Kwakbin is a really good pitcher. He has faced off a lot over the past few years, and I know him well from close-up. He has strength in his fastball and has good curves. Just watching him pitch well is fun and interesting. I think he hit 155 kilometers fast today (on the 12th). I think he is a very good pitcher,” he said in a thumbs up.

Kwak Bin will not be able to laugh as much as he wants because he failed to win his first win of the season and did not win the team, but he will be able to soothe his disappointment with the praise from the opposing team.


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