I will induce Japanese swings with a changeup”… Olympic Korea-Japan selection, came back stronger 

Two years ago, the selection for the 안전놀이터 Korea-Japan match returned with an upgraded pitch. In this WBC, the goal is to embarrass Japanese batters with a dancing changeup.

Koh Young-pyo (32) took the mound as the second pitcher in the first evaluation match against the NC Dinos for the WBC held at Kino Sports Complex in Tucson, Arizona on the 17th (Korean time), striking out 2 and striking out 2 runs against 5 batters. 16 pitches. 

Ko Young-pyo climbed the mound following starter Kim Gwang-hyeon in the second inning, which was 0-0. He got off to a shaky start with a heavy hit from leader Kim Joo-won, but immediately caught Seo Ho-cheol with a double stroke in front of the pitcher and wiped out the runner in an instant. Then, Oh Jang-han struck out on a swing and filled 3 out counts. 

However, Ko Young-pyo could not enter the dugout. This is because he failed to fill the set number of pitches while getting 3 outs in a game so fast. Ko Young-pyo struck out Joong-yeol Ahn on a swing and grounded Seok-hyun Han at first base, finally ending the inning. 

Koh Young-pyo, whom we met after the game, said, “I threw the ball against the first batter, and luckily it was better than I thought. I am satisfied because I think my pitching went well,” he said. He said with a satisfied smile, “It rained for a while and the weather in Tucson became cold, but he wasn’t cold when he pitched today (17th).” 

Ko Young-pyo, who has won 24 victories over the past two seasons, is considered a clear starter for the national team. At the Tokyo Olympics in August of last year, he was the starting pitcher for the semifinal match against Japan and had 91 pitches with 6 hits, 1 walk, 7 strikeouts and 2 runs in 5 innings. At the time, there is a memory that surprised the Japanese baseball world by cooking Japanese batters with a dancing changeup. 

Koh Young-pyo said, “I remember being hit with a double by Tetsuto Yamada at the Olympics. He said, “I am wary because I am a good hitter against Korea.” 

Adaptation to the WBC official ball is also not a big problem. On the contrary, the official ball has changed and the control of the breaking ball has become much sharper. Koh Young-pyo said, “When I threw a curveball or slider, there were times when it slipped out of my hand, so it was burdensome, but today I threw it and it was well controlled. The changeup is thrown comfortably, and it seems to be an official ball that improves the two-seam movement.” 

Koh Young-pyo is highly likely to start against Australia or Japan, the first game in this tournament. They need to win both matches to advance to the quarterfinals. Koh Young-pyo said, “I think the first match against Australia is the most important. I think winning the first game will have a lot of impact on the team atmosphere.” “I am focusing on my condition with all possibilities open. As both the manager and coaches said that the changeup has an advantage at the Tokyo Dome, I will practice the changeup a little more to make it solid.”

Wearing the Taegeuk mark for the second time, Koh Young-pyo is paying a lot of attention to the atmosphere of the national team. He acts as a bridge between veterans and rookies and lights up the atmosphere in the pitching team. Koh Young-pyo said, “There are players I have never seen before, and there are players I have seen, but there is no big problem in adapting.” I also try to take good care of my juniors. The atmosphere is generally good,” he smiled.


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