Kwak Bin, the ‘loss stopper’, leads Doosan to 6 consecutive wins this time

[KBO League] On the 7th, Kiwoom won 5 innings with 2 hits and 5K no runs, Doosan won 6 consecutive games

Doosan secured the third place by overpowering Kiwoom on its home turf with an excellent balance of offense and defense balance.

The Doosan Bears, led by head coach Lee Seung-yeop, scored 16 hits in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 7th, winning a 10-0 victory. Doosan, which scored two points in the seventh inning and six points in the eighth inning, easily caught the first game of the weekend against Kiwoom and won its first six consecutive games of the season, widened its gap with the joint fourth-place NC Dinos and Lotte Giants (39 wins, 1 draw, 36 losses).

Doosan showed off its good batting sense with foreign player Jose Rojas scoring three RBIs with two doubles, including a final double in the third inning, while Jung Soo-bin scored three hits, two RBIs, and Yang Eui-ji scored multiple hits. And on the mound, pitcher Lee, who was reborn as Doosan’s native ace this season, stood out. The main character is Doosan’s proud fastball starter Kwak Bin, who has already won eight games of the season by winning all five recent appearances.

Doosan’s native ace cut off after Lee Young-ha in 2019

It is often said that the performance of foreign one-two punches is important in the KBO League, but the role of native ace is also very important to win the Korean Series. The victory that the native ace wins against the opponent’s native ace is worth more than one win in a short-term match. In particular, Doosan, which lost four consecutive games to the SK Wyverns after two consecutive wins despite having a “34-win foreign duo” leading to Daniel Rios and Matt Randle in the 2007 Korean Series, is more aware of the importance of native ace.

In 2015 and 2016, when Doosan won its second consecutive Korean Series title, there were left-handed duos leading to Jang Won-joon, the synonym of steadyness, and Yoo Hee-kwan, the aesthetics of slowness. Jang Won-joon and Yoo Hee-kwan led the starting lineup with 30 wins for the second consecutive year in 2015 and 2016, leading Doosan to its fourth and fifth championships. In particular, “Fantastic 4” in 2016, which collaborated with Dustin Nippert with 22 wins and Michael Bowden with 18 wins, was one of the strongest starters in KBO league history.

In 2019, when Doosan won its sixth Korean Series title, a young native ace in his early 20s, named Lee Young-ha, appeared. Lee Young-ha, who showed rapid growth by winning double-digit wins three years after joining the pro league in 2018, quickly emerged as Doosan’s native ace with 17 wins, tied for second place in multiple wins in 2019. However, after 2019, Lee Young-ha has been in the starting and bullpen for the past three years, and he is also playing as a bullpen pitcher this year, not a starter.

Doosan’s native ace genealogy, which was cut off from Lee Young-ha, seemed to continue with a hard time in 2020 with Yoo Hee-kwan and sidearm Choi Won-joon recording double-digit wins side by side. However, Yoo Hee-kwan was no longer a pitcher who could trust a big game like the Korean Series, and Choi Won-joon also failed to maintain the stability shown in the regular league in the Korean Series. In the end, Doosan had to settle for second place in the 2020 Korean Series, struggling with a young left-handed ace of NC named Koo Chang-mo.

Doosan also played the role of a native ace with Choi Won-joon winning 12 games in 2021, and advanced to the Korean Series for the first time in history by beating Kiwoom, LG Twins, and Samsung Lions one after another in autumn baseball. However, 토토꽁포인트 Doosan, which lacked a starting pitcher enough to use a three-man rotation in the Korean Series, was not a match for the kt Wiz, which was full of room to turn Ko Young-pyo, the national submarine, into the bullpen. In the end, Doosan was frustrated on the threshold of winning the Korean Series for the second consecutive year, losing four consecutive games to KT.

Six games in a row, “Native Ace” Jin Ga-bal-hwi

Kwak Bin, Park Chul-soon’s Baemyeong High School junior, who is remembered as the “original MVP” of the KBO League and an eternal “firebird” for Bears fans, showed talent in both pitching and hitting in high school and was selected as the MVP in his third year. Kwak Bin also contributed greatly to South Korea’s runner-up by playing as a right-handed ace for the national team without Ahn Woo-jin (Kiem) in the ensuing U-18 Baseball World Cup. Doosan gave Kwak Bin, a top prospect who could become the next ace candidate, a large down payment of 300 million won along with the first nomination.

Kwak Bin has been a bullpen pitcher in the first division since the rookie season, but after throwing 31 innings in 32 games, he was out for the season after undergoing surgery for an elbow injury. To make matters worse, he did not take the mound in the first division until 2020 due to a recurrence of pain during rehabilitation. Kwak Bin’s long absence was bound to increase anxiety for Doosan, which had many promising pitchers who retired after failing to bloom in the professional league due to overwork in high school, including Sung Young-hoon, Nam Kyung-ho, and Han Joo-sung.

However, Kwak Bin returned to the mound in 2021 and played 98.2 innings in the first division, and he played full-time for the first time since his professional debut last season and filled regular innings, posting a good record of 8 wins, 9 losses, and a 3.78 ERA in 27 games. The discovery of Kwak Bin, a native ace candidate, was by far the best harvest for Doosan, which fell to ninth place last year after the “golden age” of advancing to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years and failed to renew its contract.

And Kwak Bin has definitely established himself as Lee Seung-yeop’s first native ace through his strong performance this season. Kwak Bin, who was excluded from the first division entry twice in May due to a back injury but returned after 10 days, has played in 12 games this season and has an excellent record of 8 wins, 2 losses, and 2.08 with seven quality starts. There are more walks (36) than innings (65 innings).His 176 batting average, 1.11 on-base percentage (WHIP) and 2.08 ERA are all the highest in the league.

Kwak Bin, the league’s best “loss stopper” who won six consecutive victories this season alone, showed a pitch that led Doosan to six consecutive wins against Kiwoom on the 7th. In baseball, pitchers who cut off consecutive losses and connect consecutive wins are called “ace.” Kwak Bin, who is seeking to win nine games of the season against the SSG Landers on the 13th and is trying to achieve “the beauty of the end” in the first half of the season, is playing an active role that is not lacking in Doosan’s native ace this season.

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