On the 18th, the professional baseball team Hanwha Eagles and Doosan Bears faced each other for the first time in the season. Around 5:20 p.m., about 10 minutes before the grandstand opening, a long line of hundreds of meters lined up outside the back gate of Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park. A scene reminiscent of a postseason game. Even though it was a cloudy day with rain coming and going on Tuesday evening, it was a bad condition for the box office.
There is a reason. The starting pitcher for Hanwha that day was Moon Dong-ju (20). In the Gwangju game against the KIA Tigers on the 12th, he threw a fastball at 160.1km per hour against Park Chan-ho after one shot at the end of the first inning. Moon Dong-ju is the first Korean pitcher to exceed 160 km/h since Sports 2I, the KBO’s official record and statistics company, introduced the Pitch Tracking System (PTS) in 2011.
The Hanwha club and Hanwha fans, who had been waiting for an ‘overwhelming ace’ for a long time, were all encouraged. Hanwha held an event to commemorate the pitching of 160 km/h in Daejeon Doosan match on the same day, right after Moon Dong-joo’s appearance. The number ‘160.1’ was installed as a photo sculpture on the outdoor stage, and specially made Moon Dong-ju photo cards were presented to the first 1,600 people. The procession that stretched from the front of the spectator entrance to the side of the road outside the baseball field was the crowd waiting to receive this photo card. Moon Dong-ju, who has been famous for his fastball since high school, joined Hanwha as the first designated rookie last year and raised expectations as a ‘super rookie’. In his first season, his injury period was prolonged and he did not live up to his name. Starting with his healthy body, his all season is different. He is poised to quench Hanwha’s long-standing thirst for an ace while leaving a historic milestone with his fastball. A Hanwha official said, “Everyone was surprised to see a line of spectators lined up like this at an evening game on a weekday.” Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop, who saw Moon Dong-joo’s pitching for the first time, also showed anticipation and wariness at the same time. Before the game, “Moon Dong-ju is a very good pitcher. He has a fast ball and a good curve. 안전놀이터
“As players, we won’t have many scoring opportunities,” he said. “Anyway, we have to hit and win.”
Moon Dong-joo got off to a good start on this day as well, ending the first episode with a three-way attack. He got the leadoff batter on base in the second through fourth innings in a row, but caught the next three batters in a row and finished every inning safely. After two outs in the 5th inning, Ahn Jae-seok’s walk and Lee Yu-chan’s heavy hit faced a crisis on first and second base, but Sue-bin Jung was grounded to the second baseman and prevented a run.
Moon Dong-joo climbed the mound until the 6th inning and struck out Jo Soo-haeng and Yang Seok-hwan in a row. However, he allowed the fourth walk after throwing the 98th pitch to Yang Eui-ui, the last batter. In the end, the Hanwha bench replaced the pitcher with Han Seung-joo. Moon Dong-ju finished his third appearance this season with 2 hits, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts and no runs in 5 2/3 innings. He did not record a win or loss as he did not receive scoring support.
Moon Dong-joo’s highest fastball speed, which drew attention, reached 159 km per hour based on Trackman, Hanwha’s own measurement system. It was the 4th fastball thrown by Song Seung-hwan at bat in the 4th inning. However, the KBO official system, PTS, measured the ball’s speed at 156 km/h.