A disappointing one-point loss in the Korea-Japan match. But there’s no need to get too frustrated. There’s still a chance for redemption in the final. A win over Chinese Taipei will set up a rematch with Japan in the final.
The Korean National Baseball Team, coached by Ryu Jung-il, lost 1-2 against Japan in the second game of the 2023 Asian Professional Baseball Championship (APBC) qualifier at the Tokyo Dome in Japan on Sunday.
Starting pitcher Lee Yi-ri took the loss, but overcame some early struggles with his command with a quality start, allowing two runs on six hits (one home run) with three walks and three strikeouts in six innings. He used a fastball and slider combination that topped out at 153 mph. He was followed by Oh Won-seok (1 inning, 1 hit, 1 strikeout) and Choi Jun-yong (1 inning, 2 hits, 2 strikeouts, no runs).
The pitchers did their job, but the offense couldn’t get going.
Japan’s left-hander Chihiro Sumida shut down Korea with seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball, striking out seven. He used a variety of pitches, including a changeup, splitter, and curveball, to take away the timing of the Korean hitters.
Two batters into the ninth inning, Kim Hui-jip, a pinch-hitter, took a five-pitch, 141-kilometer fastball from Japanese left-hander Kazuto Taguchi over the left field fence. However, the next batter, Kim Joo-won, 먹튀검증토토사이트 struck out swinging and the offense went silent with five scattered hits and one run.
Although the team lost the game, it was significant that the pitchers were able to tie the game at one run apiece.
In an official interview after the game, Korean coach Ryu Jung-il said, “Lee Yi-ri had a crisis in the early innings, but he handled it well. He had three strikeouts, but I think he pitched well. The batting lineup had chances early on, but it was unfortunate that we couldn’t connect, but Kim Hui-jip’s home run at the end saved the day. I think we played well,” he said.
Ryu continued, “Lee Yi-ri pitched well until the sixth inning. The next two pitchers (Oh Won-seok and Choi Jun-yong) also pitched better than I thought,” he said, but he also mentioned the opposing starter Sumida, saying, “He throws the ball easily. He throws strikes with his fastball and then his changeup. When he gets the last strike, he drops a forkball. He’s a very good player.”
On Sumida’s approach,
Ryu said, “I watched the video and I think he’s better than that. He throws the ball easily and throws his changeup in a favorable count.” “I think I can take advantage of him next time I have a chance,” he said.
The loss dropped South Korea to 1-1 after Noh Si-hwan’s walk-off hit in the 10th inning of a 3-2 win over Australia the previous day (Nov. 16). Japan, with two wins, will advance to the final while South Korea and Chinese Taipei, both 1-1, will meet in the final game of the preliminary round at 7 p.m. on Aug. 18. It is a semifinal match.
Ryu said, “Won Tae-in is the starting pitcher tomorrow (Nov. 18). “If we meet Japan in the final, we’ll watch more videos and think about our strategy. Japan is a country with good pitchers. They also have a good batting team, and I think it will be a good match next time we meet.”
With Won Tae-in, who has a lot of experience in big games, starting against Chinese Taipei, the bats will need to step up after a two-game slump. “In international tournaments, there are a lot of pitchers that you don’t see for the first time, so it’s not easy. We’ll try to be a little more aggressive tomorrow against Chinese Taipei,” said Ryu. “If we had lost the game, the mood would have subsided, but Kim Hui-jip hit a home run (with two outs in the ninth inning). I think the atmosphere will continue until tomorrow.”