There were only two people. In a situation where the selection of foreigners was ‘occupied’ for the opening game, there were only two natives. However, those two shone ‘brightly’. SSG Kim Gwang-hyeon (35) and Kiwoom Ahn Woo-jin (24) are the main characters.

The 2023 KBO League opened spectacularly on the 1st. Suwon (LG-KT), Munhak (KIA-SSG), Jamsil (Lotte-Doosan), Gocheok (Hanwha-Kiwoom), and Daegu (NC-Samsung) opened their doors at five stadiums.

It was hot. For the first time since the five-team system, all seats for the opening game were sold out. The total number of spectators for the opening game is 105,450. This is the second-highest record following the 2019 Opening Day (114,021), which was the highest ever. As the corona situation was resolved, fans watched the game at the stadium. 토토사이트

In the opening match, the selection will always get the most attention. At the Media Day held on March 30, the first question I asked the coaches of the 10 clubs was the selection for the opening game.

Eight out of 10 players were foreign pitchers. Casey Kelly (LG), Wes Benjamin (KT), Sean Anderson (KIA), Dan Straley (Lotte), Raul Alcantara (Doosan), Birch Smith (Hanwha), Eric Peddie (NC), David Buchanan (Samsung) sortie. did.

Two domestic pitchers were dropped. These are Kim Gwang-hyun and Ahn Woo-jin. These are the players who have completed the ‘verification’. Kim Gwang-hyeon, who came back after stepping on the major league stage, has no inferiority as a first starter. An Woo-jin made 224 strikeouts last year and stood tall as an ace representing the league.

The results were also good. Gwang-Hyun Kim stuck with Anderson and became the winning pitcher with 4 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts and 1 run in 5 innings. SSG, the ‘defending champion’ with Kim Gwang-hyun at the forefront, laughed in the opening game with a 4-1 victory.

This is a welcome part for Kim Gwang-hyun as an individual. He has played in three opening games all-time, but only lost two and had an earned run average of 8.04. He was strangely out of sync with the opening match. It was different this time. He gave 1 run in the 1st inning, but kept it off well afterwards. He could have gone further with 87 pitches, but quit early considering it was his first appearance.

With this victory, he had 150 victories in his personal career. It is a new record of achieving 150 wins in the fewest games ever (327 games). He also created the highest winning percentage (0.652). He became the fifth 150-win pitcher of all time. If you add 3 wins, you will rise to 4th place, surpassing coach Lee Kang-cheol (152 wins). He properly became the protagonist of the opening game.

If there was Kim Gwang-hyeon in literature, Ahn Woo-jin flew in Gocheok. He met Hanwha and showed off his quality start (QS) pitching with 5 hits, 2 walks, and 12 strikeouts in 6 innings. The terrifying fastball that exploded up to 159 km/h was excellent. His slider danced, and his curve-changeup was excellent.

Ahn Woo-jin’s start in the opening game was predicted. He’s already had a good starter role since last year. It is no exaggeration to say that he is the strongest pitcher on the team. And he blew fire from the first match.

He struck out a whopping 12. A new record for the most strikeouts in a single game. At the same time, it is a new record for strikeouts in the opening game. The 10 strikeouts recorded by Joo Hyung-gwang and Jeong Min-cheol (1996 Hanwha-Lotte match), Jeong Min-cheol (1997 OB-Hanwha match), Fernando Hernandez (2002 SK-Hyundai match), and Merrill Kelly (2018 Lotte-SK match) are the previous record.

It remains a pity that there were more native pitchers showing off such a powerful figure. From some moment, foreign pitchers are taking over the opening game. The reason is simple. This is because foreign pitchers throw better. In the case of Hanwha, according to coach Carlos Subero’s will, for the past two years, Kim Min-woo has been a starter. It was different this time.

It would be nice if native pitchers became ‘main’ and foreign players became ‘bo’, but in reality it is not easy. If this trend continues, there is a high possibility that domestic pitchers will be selected as starters for the opening game for the time being.

It is time to devise a plan to gradually nurture native pitchers and develop them into aces. It is not an exaggeration to say that, in the long run, international competition results also depend on this side.

There are definitely some good parts. You can see it if you look at the selection for the second game of the opening series. Out of 10 starting pitchers, there are only three foreign pitchers. These are Albert Suarez (Samsung), Eric Yokishi (Kiwoom), and Kirk McCarty (SSG).

Seven Korean pitchers announced the start of the game: Koo Chang-mo (NC), Lee Eui-ri (KIA), Na Gyun-an (Lotte), Choi Won-joon (Doosan), Kim Yun-shik (LG), Sohn Joon-jun (KT), and Kim Min-woo (Hanwha).

Except for NC or Doosan, where one foreign pitcher was injured due to injury, all other teams have two foreign pitchers. It may have been a choice that took into account pitching schedules, intervals, current conditions, and the opponent team’s compatibility, but it is nice to see that there are many domestic pitchers anyway. If you can’t write, you can’t write.

Anyway, the opening game should be the strongest pitcher. There is a symbolism of the opening game. It also means that you have to get off to a good start. Can the ‘strongest pitcher’ in various teams create a day when they become domestic pitchers? First of all, it is encouraging that not a few teams are putting out natives as ‘second starters’.

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