When the Korean baseball team for the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), led by coach Lee Kang-cheol, announced the final 30 players, the Japanese media also covered it as 안전놀이터 major news.
The KBO confirmed 30 final entries for the WBC, which will be held in March. It is an elite team consisting of 15 pitchers, 2 catchers, 8 infielders and 5 outfielders. On the 4th, while holding an official announcement and press conference, Japanese media also reported this news.
Japan’s ‘Sports Nippon’ said, ‘I had Lee Jong-beom, who played an active part in Chunichi, as my father, and Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), who will challenge the major leagues with the posting system after the 2023 season, was named.’ (San Diego), left-handed power hitter Choi Ji-man (Tampa Bay) with a total of 61 home runs, and infielder Tommy Edman (St. Louis), whose mother is Korean, also joined.”
Next, ‘the pitching staff is the main target for sidearm Ko Young-pyo (KT), who started in the semifinals of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, and left-hander Kim Gwang-hyun (SSG), who harassed Japan at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Kim Gwang-hyun, who returned to Korea through the major leagues, was revived with 13 wins last year,’ he explained.
The pitcher who left a strong impression on Japan in the most recent international tournament was Koh Young-pyo. Ko Young-pyo, who started against Japan in the semi-finals of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, blocked the Japanese hard hitting line with a good pitching of 5 innings, 6 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and 2 runs. With his main weapon changeup, he caused Japanese batters to miss swings and induced a grounder in the infield. Korea lost the match 2-5, but Ko Young-pyo did his part. He is also considered a starting candidate in this WBC.
Kim Kwang-hyun has long been known as the ‘Japanese Killer’. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics finals, when he was 20 years old, he prepared a foothold for victory with 5 ⅓ innings, 3 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and 1 run against Japan in the group stage, and against Japan, which he met again in the semifinals, 8 innings, 6 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts and 2 runs ( 1 ERA) He threw an overwhelming pitch. He became the winning pitcher in the historic match between Korea and Japan, leading Korea to secure a medal and advance to the final.
However, after the Olympics, I had no fun against Japan. In the 2009 WBC 1st round match against Japan, Kim Gwang-hyun was beaten with 7 hits (1 home run), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 8 runs in 1⅓ innings. It was defeated with Korea’s 2-14 cold loss. He was hit by Japan’s customized analysis, which focused on sliders. In the most recent 2015 Premier12, Kim Gwang-hyun played against Japan in the first game, but was defeated early in 2⅔ innings, 5 hits, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts and 2 runs. However, Kim Kwang-hyun in Beijing still leaves a strong impression in Japan.
Korea, which is in Group B with Japan, will play against Japan in the second match of the first round at the Tokyo Dome on March 10th. While coach Lee Kang-cheol expressed his intention to appoint Young Guns as the first round starters, attention is focused on how to use Ko Young-pyo and Kim Gwang-hyeon, who were selected as vigilant targets by Japan.