“I’m still 20 years old.”

Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha Eagles) took the biggest stage since his professional debut on the 17th. He pitched in the 2024 MLB World Tour Special Match as a starting pitcher for Team Korea on the 17th.

The opponents were literally giants in the baseball world. San Diego’s proud top MLB All-Star hitters greeted him. Big hitters such as Xander Bogaerts, Fernando Tatis Jr., and Manny Machado appeared in front of Moon Dong-ju one after another.

Did he get nervous? He seemed very nervous from the first inning. He allowed four walks and wild pitches in the first inning alone. He allowed not many runs but it was definitely not the case of Moon, who rose to the rookie of the year last year with eight wins and eight losses and an earned run average of 3.72. The second inning was different again. Unlike his stellar performance in the first inning, he calmly dealt with San Diego hitters and neatly completed his two innings.

Moon seemed quite cheerful. “I’m not sure if I was nervous in the first inning. I’ve heard a lot of criticism since last year about lack of game management,” Moon told reporters.

He wasn’t blaming himself. “If I were the same as last year’s in the game yesterday (17th), I would have collapsed in the first inning,” Moon said. “After losing a point, I finished the first inning well and pitched in a different style in the second inning. I think I have improved a lot and changed a lot from last year,” he said in a positive self-evaluation.

Positivity is the power of Moon. “When you find shortcomings, there are no limits. I watched yesterday’s video only focusing on strengths,” he said with a smile. It was the same case during last year’s season when he won the Rookie of the Year award. He had an ERA of 2.38 in April, but suddenly declined to 8.22 in May. However, he made a comeback from June, and eventually made it the best year for both the Rookie of the Year and the Korean national team.

Moon Dong-ju, who was just getting out of the slump, said, “There were many words about me. I was confused myself and lost confidence,” but added, “But I think I got better little by little in every game. I don’t know if the results will be good, but I believe the contents have continued to improve. So I grew little by little and was able to maintain a good feeling.”

As Moon took the mound on Thursday last week, he could not play in the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday. He was so interested that he said he bought a pillow that Shohei Otani used, but failed to face off with Ohtani in the end. 룸알바

Even he was positive. “I don’t think it’s good manners to take on Ohtani because of his condition,” Moon said with a smile. “I’m still 20 years old. I think there will be a lot more to improve.” “I think we have improved compared to last year. I believe we will have improved a lot next time we meet Ohtani,” he said. “If we meet him at the World Baseball Classic in 2027, we will play a perfect game (against Japan).”

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