Is it because the expectation was so high that the disappointment is getting bigger? The major leaguer, table setter, and keystone combination have not been able to add strength to Korea’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) journey.
Korea lost the first two matches of the first round of the WBC on the 9th and 10th. Although it was an ambush, they lost 7-8 to Australia, which they had to win. It barely escaped a cold game. Now, as in the previous two tournaments, Korea faced the worst situation in which it had to consider the ‘number of cases’ in order to advance to the next round. Many reasons can be attributed to the ‘Tokyo Dome disaster’, but what is clear is that the failure of major leaguers who joined the national team to do their part should be included.
The national team’s “unique” major leaguers, Tommy Hyun-soo Edman (St. Louis) and Kim Ha-seong (San Diego), have little presence and influence on the lineup. The infield center line led by Edmon, who won the Gold Glove for second baseman in the National League in 2021, and Ha-seong Kim, who was a finalist for the Gold Glove in the National League shortstop category in 2022, was evaluated as the strongest among the participating countries of the WBC. And it was expected to be placed on the table setter and open the door to the other line. 바카라사이트
Defensive expectations are definitely met. Although Edmund recorded one error, there was no problem with the defense in the games against Australia and Japan. It was confirmed that the solid infield line is Korea’s strength. The problem was aggression. They couldn’t set the table at all for two games. The scoring power itself was not bad with 11 points in 2 games, but all of them were connected with long hits (Yang Eui-ji’s 2 homers) in the lower batting line, and it was also a score stemming from the opponent’s self-destruction. Edmon, the first hitter, has an OPS of .347 with 1 hit and 1 walk in 8 at-bats, and Ha-seong Kim has an OPS of .111 with no hits in 8 at-bats, 1 walk and 2 runs. Both players combined for 1 hit in 16 at-bats and a batting average of 6.3. When the table setter did not reach base itself, it was a daily routine for Lee Jung-hoo (3 hits in 8 at-bats), who had a good hitting feel, to appear in a situation where there were no runners.
I didn’t expect a hit like an active volcano. Still, he was looking forward to seeing him go on base and vigorously stir the Tokyo Dome ground, but that figure itself was missing. Expectations for active major leaguers were too high, so the regret that comes back is bound to be doubled. In particular, infielder Kim Hye-seong, who could take Edmon’s place, showed a hot bat from the training camp in Arizona to the official evaluation match held in Osaka, Japan. Kim Hye-seong recorded a batting average of 60.47 (11 hits in 17 at-bats) in four practice games held in Arizona and SSG 2nd team practice game held in Gocheok, and also hit a home run in the evaluation match against Hanshin held right before the finals. Consequential criticism of the choice of the bench is unavoidable.
Above all, the sluggishness of Edmund and Kim Ha-seong stands out even more because they are compared to the big successes of Japanese big leaguers. In Japan, Shohei Otani (LA Angels) started against China on the 9th and recorded 4 innings, 5 strikeouts and no runs, and recorded a batting average of 5.77 (4 hits in 7 at-bats), 3 RBIs, and an OPS of 1.584. Like Edmund, Lars Nutba (St. Louis), a mixed-race player who wears the uniform of his mother’s country, is also batting .500 (4 hits in 8 at-bats), 1 RBI, 4 runs, and an OPS of 1.136. Since he is in the same position as Edmon, he has no choice but to be compared. Masataka Yoshida (Boston) is also playing the role of a solver with a batting average of 50% (3 hits in 6 at-bats) and 5 RBIs.
Now, Korea must hope for a miracle. The number of cases is rare when the Czech Republic wins against Australia in a melee by holding both the Czech Republic and China and leading the situation to a melee. Will Edmund and Kim Ha-sung’s table setter combination cause a reversal in Korea’s WBC journey?