“I had a good rest, but I thought I shouldn’t throw poorly.”
Moon Dong-ju of the Hangzhou Asian Games baseball team started as a starter in an evaluation match against Sangmu Phoenix held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 26th. Moon Dong-ju took the mound this day as a starter for the Sangmu team, not the national team, and pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 hits, no walks, 5 strikeouts, and no runs.
On this day, all players of the Hangzhou Asian Games national team except Park Se-woong took the field. The players who were not able to participate in the national team asked for the understanding of Sangmu and played the game as Sangmu teams, and in the 9th inning, they also had time to test the ‘match game’ situation between first and second base with no outs. As a result, the national team finished the friendly match with a 2-0 win.스포츠토토
What stood out in the evaluation match with Sangmu was definitely his pitching ability. A total of 10 pitchers were on the mound, including Kwak Bin, Moon Dong-ju (3 innings), Won Tae-in, Na Kyun-an (2 innings), Jeong Woo-young, Ko Woo-seok, Park Young-hyun, Kim Young-gyu, and Choi Ji-min (1 inning), but only 2 pitchers in 16 innings. He showed off his solid pitching, allowing only runs. Although the batters’ batting skills were not bad as they were called up during the season, the pitching ability clearly stood out.
Among them, the player who left the most impressive pitch was Moon Dong-ju. On this day, Moon Dong-ju showed off his powerful pitching against the national team’s batting lineup, using a fastball with a maximum speed of 154 km. It was overwhelming from the start. In the bottom of the first inning, Moon Dong-ju used a 153km fastball as his winning shot against leadoff hitter Kim Hye-seong, striking out the first out.
In the bottom of the second inning, Moon Dong-ju caught the first batter, Kang Baek-ho, with a straight hit to center field, and then got a hit to left field by Moon Bo-kyung, but struck out Kim Hyeong-jun and tied up Park Seong-han with a grounder to shortstop. The first crisis was also overcome well. At the start of the bottom of the third inning, Moon Dong-ju was attacked by Choi Won-jun with a 154km fastball and hit a double to left-center. But he didn’t concede any goals. Dong-joo Moon struck out follow-up hitter Seong-yoon Kim with a 144km breaking ball, and completely lined up Hye-sung Kim and Ji-hoon Choi, completing all pitches in the evaluation match.
What would it be like to look back on the pitching of the evaluation match held ahead of departure on the 28th? ‘Excellent prospect’ Moon Dong-ju is currently under thorough management by the Hanwha Eagles, but has not pitched in practice since pitching 4⅓ innings against the LG Twins on the 3rd. Dong-ju Moon said, “I rested well, but I thought he shouldn’t have been able to throw well. He managed his injury well, so I was able to focus a little more and throw.”
Although he did not play in an actual game, Dong-ju Moon has thoroughly prepared for the Asian Games in the Futures League. He said, “It was my first time throwing a game in a long time, but despite that, I was in very good condition. I was a little more focused because I was throwing against the national team. Today, I think it went as well as I expected. I also liked the feeling of the breaking ball. I played with the new official ball. “This is my first time doing it, and I think I threw it well,” he said.
First of all, I gave it my all as I was only pitching 3 innings. Moon Dong-ju said, “I went in with the mindset of not giving away points. I knew it was 3 innings, so I went in with the thought, ‘Let’s really throw 3 good innings and come down.'” He added, “If (Roh) Si-hwan was hit by his older brother, he wouldn’t have kept teasing him this year.” “I probably would have been hit, but I focused a little more on Sihwan. I threw it thinking that I was really competing rather than just thinking about the percentage,” he said with a smile.
Moon Dong-ju did not forget to praise his ‘junior’ Jang Hyun-seok. Jang Hyun-seok, along with Moon Dong-ju, threw fastballs up to 154 kilometers per hour, striking out two and allowing no runs in one inning. He said, “It was my first time seeing him throw, and I was surprised. The breaking ball and overall were really good,” and “I didn’t know it was 154km, but I think I rested that well.”
Coach Ryu Joong-il expressed his concerns about the selection for the match against Chinese Taipei prior to today’s game. Taiwan is the biggest obstacle for the Korean national team aiming for a gold medal, as many players from the Japanese professional baseball team as well as minor leaguers are joining the team. First of all, the Korean national team is scheduled to face Taiwan once in the group stage on October 2nd.
Before the game, coach Ryu Joong-il said, “I am considering who to start against Taiwan. Candidates include Kwak Bin, (Park) Se-woong, and Moon Dong-ju. First, after watching Kwak Bin and Moon Dong-ju pitch 3 innings each, I will practice tomorrow and in Hangzhou. I’ll make a decision based on what’s going on and the condition. I’m most worried about who I’ll use first. I’ll block with the starting pitcher until the 5th or 6th inning. I think we’ll have to tie up the two starting pitchers until the 5th or 6th inning. There may be variables, but short-term games are like this. “I think I have to do it,” he said.
Manager Ryu Joong-il’s mind became more complicated as the pitchers who were in the starting rotation for his team during the regular season all pitched well without allowing any runs on this day. After the game, the head coach said, “I will give a little more thought to the selection for the match against Taiwan.” It is unclear what decision will be made, but the possibility of Moon Dong-joo taking on the important role of starting the team against Taiwan cannot be ruled out.
Dong-ju Moon said emphatically, “I don’t know who will play (against Taiwan), but I think we need to prepare well for every game. Since it is a short game, we don’t know what will happen, so I think we need to think about all the possibilities and prepare.”