‘9G scoreless’ Kim Myung-shin, Doosan bullpen ‘Unsung hero’

KBO League, which opened on April 1 and has been running nonstop for more than three months, is about to turn around the halfway point and close the first half. There were big and small bad things, such as being eliminated in the first round of the World Baseball Classic for 3 consecutive times and the drinking scandal of national players during the competition, but it is rapidly recovering its popularity before Corona 19 by surpassing 4 million spectators in the 4th fastest period ever. There is no better news than regaining lost popularity in professional sports that feed on the love of fans.

The LG Twins, who are aiming to win the Korean Series for the first time in 29 years, are holding the lead for the second week, and the KIA Tigers have won 5 consecutive victories and jumped into a fight for the middle ranks. However, the team that is driving the biggest topic at the end of the first half is by far the Doosan Bears, which is running on an eight-game winning streak. Doosan won all eight games held in July, starting with the Ulsan Lotte Giants on the 1st. On the last day of June, Doosan, which was only 6th, now ranked 3rd, 2 games ahead of 4th place Lotte.

Doosan’s native ace, Gwak Bin, won 2 wins during his 8-game winning streak, and new foreign pitcher Brandon Waddell also pitched well, giving up 1 run in 14 innings. In the other lineup, Kang Seung-ho exploded 2 homers and 12 RBIs during the 8th consecutive win, including a come-from-behind home run against Kiwoom Heroes on the 8th. However, Doosan also has an ‘invisible hero’ who appeared in 6 games during the 8-game winning streak and quietly pitched 8 scoreless innings. Right-hander Kim Myeong-shin, a 7-year-old right-hander, is the main character.

Doosan’s winning group made up of pitchers with good pitches

The most important factor when each team forms a winning group before the season is the ‘pitch’ of the bullpen pitchers. A starting pitcher can gain competitiveness through skillful numbers fights even if his pitching is somewhat off, but a bullpen pitcher with poor pitching is likely to be battered by opponent batters who are relaxed after the middle of the game. Therefore, most of the pitchers who are active in the winning group in each club have excellent pitches that exceed 145 km/h. 

This is not much different from Doosan. Hong Geon-hee, who is the leader of Doosan’s pitching team and has been in charge of the Bears’ back door since the middle of last season, was seldom able to blossom due to the lack of unstable pitches and decisive pitches during his KIA days. However, after transferring to Doosan in 2020, Hong Kun-hee, who sublimated the high fastball, which was pointed out as a weakness, as an advantage, leaped to the winning group from 2021, and this year, with 19 saves in the season, he is running second in the save category following Seo Jin-yong (SSG Landers. 25 saves).

Set-up man Jeong Cheol-won, who recorded 23 holds last year and set a new record for the most holds by a rookie, is also a power pitcher with a powerful pitch that exceeds 150 km/h. Jeong Cheol-won, who won the rookie of the year last year with a ‘surprising performance’, hesitated after being excluded from the first team entry for a while due to the WBC drinking scandal this year. However, Jeong Cheol-won, who returned to the mound in mid-June, pitched in 5 games during the 8-game winning streak, recording 1 win, 2 saves and 2 holds in 4.2 scoreless innings, contributing greatly to Doosan’s upward trend.

Sidearm Park Chi-guk, who recovered from his sluggishness in the early stages and perfectly revived with 1 win, 1 save, 2 holds, 1.64 in 12 games in June and 2 holds, 3.1 scoreless innings in 4 games in July, is also a submarine bullpen pitcher with excellent pitches. Of course, it is not comparable to Jung Woo-young (LG Twins), who throws a two-seam fastball that exceeds the mid-150 km/h speed, but Park Chi-guk also has a good pitch as a submarine pitcher. Park Chi-guk was famous as a pitcher with a strong heart since his rookie days, and this was also based on his excellent pitch.

Of course, not everyone who has a good pitch is successful as a bullpen pitcher. Rookie Kim Yoo-seong, who was involved in a school violence problem in high school and was nominated by Doosan and joined the professional team, was evaluated as having a ‘de-rookie-level pitch’ and was immediately enrolled in the first team as soon as the victim’s family forgave him. However, Kim Yu-seong, who pitched in 4 games in the 1st team stage, gave up 11 walks in 4 innings, and his pitching was greatly shaken, and after recording an ERA of 13.50, he went down to the Futures League again.

Slowly but surely leaping into Doosan’s winning group

Kim Myeong-shin, a junior of manager Lee Seung-yeop’s Gyeongbuk High School, played an active role as an infielder before turning to pitching late in his senior year of high school. Kim Myung-shin received the Outstanding Pitcher Award in the second half of the high school baseball weekend league in his first year as a pitcher, but did not receive a professional nomination and went to Kyungsung University. In 2016, when he was a senior in college, Myungshin Kim led Kyungsung University to victory in the Spring League, Wangjungwangjeon, and National Sports Festival, and was selected as the MVP in all three competitions. did.안전놀이터

Kim Myung-shin appeared in 39 games in the first team from his rookie season and posted a record of 3 wins, 1 loss, 5 holds, and 4.37, but the following year, he returned home early from spring camp due to an elbow injury, received surgery, and enlisted as a social worker to complete his military service. After his return, Kim Myung-shin recorded a score of 3.52 in 16 games in 2020 and 2 wins, 2 losses, 2 holds and 4.30 in 58 games in 2021. However, Kim Myung-shin, who had limited growth due to his mediocre pitches, had to be satisfied with the role of the long relief and pursuit team without being included in the Pilseung Group every year.

Last year, Kim Myung-shin threw 79.2 innings in 68 games, going 3-3 with 10 holds at 3.62, his best performance since his professional debut. However, as Doosan’s performance fell to 9th place, Kim Myung-shin’s dedication to the team did not stand out much. Kim Myung-shin, who was in his 7th season (including military service) in the pro without posting such great results, started the season again this year with a long relief and pursuit team. However, as the first half is coming to an end, Kim Myung-shin has become one of Doosan’s winning teams. 

Kim Myung-shin, who has been consistently active in the first team throughout the season, except for being excluded from the first-team entry once for a break in mid-June, mainly pitched in games where selection collapsed early until June. However, Kim Myung-shin, who overcame the anxiety at the beginning of the season and started to find stability on the mound, confidently joined Pilseung-jo from July. In fact, Kim Myung-shin took the mound in 6 games during Doosan’s 8-game winning streak, recording 1 win and 4 holds in 8 scoreless innings, lowering the season’s ERA to 2.98.

Kim Myung-shin used to be called ‘Right-hander Yu Hee-gwan’ because of his unsatisfactory ball control even though he had excellent control that was not like a rookie in the rookie season. However, since last season, his speed has increased and his breaking pitches have become more diverse, and he is gradually expanding his presence in the Doosan bullpen. Doosan’s bullpen will become even stronger if Kim Myung-shin, who has made a clear impression on coach Lee Seung-yeop and Doosan fans by pitching in the last 9 games in a row without conceding a goal, plays an active part in the second half of the year.

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