The Doosan Bears, led by head coach Lee Seung-yeop, won the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 7th, scoring 16 hits and winning 10-0. Doosan, who scored 2 points in the 7th inning and 6 points in the 8th inning, easily caught the first game of the weekend’s 3-game series against Kiwoom and ran for the first 6 consecutive wins of the season. in one game (39 wins, 1 draw, 36 losses).
For Doosan, foreign player José Rojas played a big role with 2 doubles and 3 RBIs, including 3 doubles in the final, Su-bin Sue 3 hits, 2 RBIs and 3 runs, and Yang Eui-ji scored a multi-hit, showing off a good sense of hitting. And on the mound, the pitcher, who has been reborn as Doosan’s native ace this season, showed outstanding performance. The main character is Gwak Bin, a strong fastball starter that Doosan boasts, who has won all of his recent 5 appearances and has already reached his 8th win of the season.
Doosan’s native ace stopped after Lee Young-ha in 2019
It is often said that the performance of a foreign one-two punch is important in the KBO league, but the role of a native ace is also very important to win the Korean Series. This is because the victory that a native ace wins in a head-to-head match against an opponent’s native ace is worth more than one win in a short game. In particular, in the 2007 Korean Series, Doosan, who lost 4 consecutive times after 2 consecutive wins to SK Wyverns despite leading the ’34-win foreign duo’ leading to Daniel Rios and Matt Randle, is more aware of the importance of a native ace.
In 2015 and 2016, when Doosan achieved two consecutive victories in the Korean Series, there was a left-handed duo leading to Jang Won-joon, who is synonymous with consistency, and Yoo Hee-gwan, who is known for his “slow aesthetics.” Jang Won-jun and Yu Hee-gwan led the starting lineup with 30 wins in 2015 and 2016 for two consecutive years, leading Doosan’s 4th and 5th championships. In particular, the ‘Fantastic 4’ in 2016, which together with Dustin Nippert with 22 wins and Michael Bowden with 18 wins, together with 70 wins, was one of the most powerful starters in KBO League history.
In 2019, when Doosan won its 6th Korean Series championship, a young native ace in his early 20s, who was only in his 4th year as a pro, Lee Young-hara, appeared. Lee Young-ha, who showed a rapid growth rate by winning double-digit multipliers in 3 years after joining the pro in 2018, quickly emerged as Doosan’s native ace by winning 17 wins, which was tied for second place in 2019. However, after 2019, Lee Young-ha has been in the starting and bullpen for the past three years, and this year he is active as a bullpen pitcher, not a starting pitcher.
The genealogy of Doosan’s native ace, which was cut off from Lee Young-ha, seemed to be continuing in 2020 with Yu Hee-gwan and Sidearm Choi Won-jun recording double-digit multipliers side by side. However, Yoo Hee-gwan was no longer a pitcher who could be trusted and entrusted to him in big games like the Korean Series, and Choi Won-joon was also unable to maintain the stability he showed in the regular league in the Korean Series. In the end, Doosan struggled against NC’s young left-handed ace named Chang-mo Koo in the 2020 Korean Series and had to be satisfied with the runner-up.
In 2021, Doosan also played the role of a native ace with Choi Won-joon winning 12 wins, defeating Kiwoom, LG Twins, and Samsung Lions in turn in fall baseball to advance to the Korean Series for the first time in history for 7 consecutive years. However, Doosan, which lacked enough starting pitchers to use a three-man rotation in the Korean Series, could not compete with the kt Wiz, who had plenty of room to turn national submarine Koh Young-pyo into the bullpen. In the end, Doosan suffered four consecutive losses to kt in the Korean Series, and was frustrated on the threshold of winning two consecutive years.
Park Cheol-soon’s junior from Baemyeong High School,
Gwak Bin, who is remembered as the ‘first year MVP’ of the KBO League and an eternal ‘Phoenix’ to Bears fans, showed talent in both pitching during high school and was on the team in the third year. won the Blue Dragon flag and was selected as the MVP. In the following U-18 Baseball World Cup, Kwak Bin played as the right-handed ace of the national team without Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom), contributing greatly to Korea’s runner-up. Doosan gave Kwak Bin, a top-class prospect who could become the next-generation ace candidate, a large down payment of 300 million won along with the first nomination.안전놀이터
Kwak Bin played an active role as a reliever pitcher in the first team since his rookie season, but after throwing 31 innings in 32 games, he underwent surgery for an elbow injury and was out for the season. To make matters worse, the pain recurred during rehabilitation and he could not climb the first team mound until 2020. In Doosan, where there were an exceptionally large number of promising pitchers who retired without being able to blossom in the pros due to overwork in high school, such as Sung Young-hoon, Nam Kyung-ho, and Han Ju-seong, Kwak Bin’s long hiatus inevitably increased anxiety.
However, Kwak Bin returned to the mound in 2021 and played 98.2 innings in the first team, and for the first time since his professional debut last season, he played full-time and filled the innings, posting a good record of 8 wins and 9 losses with an ERA of 3.78 in 27 games. After the ‘golden period’ of entering the Korean Series for 7 consecutive years ended and fell to 9th place last year, Doosan coach Kim Tae-hyeong (SBS Sports commentator) even had his contract renewal canceled.
And through his outstanding performance this season, Kwak Bin has firmly established himself as the first native ace under manager Lee Seung-yeop. Kwak Bin, who was excluded from the first team entry twice due to a back injury in May, but returned in 10 days, has appeared in 12 games this season and recorded an excellent record of 8 wins, 2 losses and 2.08 with 7 quality starts. Although there are slightly more walks (36) than innings (65), the batting average of .176, WHIP per inning of 1.11, and ERA of 2.08 are all the highest in the league.
Kwak Bin, the league’s best “pass-stopper” who won six victories that broke the team’s losing streak this season alone, displayed a pitch that led Doosan to six consecutive victories against Kiwoom on the 7th. A pitcher who breaks a losing streak and connects a winning streak is called an ‘ace’ in baseball. In the match against SSG Landers on the 13th, Kwak Bin, who is aiming for his 9th win of the season and trying to reap the ‘beauty of the end’ in the first half, is playing an active role that is not lacking in the name of Doosan’s native ace this season.