Kwak Bin (24, Dusan), who was criticized for his so-called “Asian Games 0-ball gold medal,” stood in front of reporters and candidly confessed his complicated feelings at the time.안전놀이터
Kwak Bin started the final game of the season against KIA in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League (Game 16) at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Nov. 13, giving up one run on six hits and two walks with nine strikeouts and throwing 109 pitches to improve to 12-7 on the season. Behind Kwak-Bin’s strong performance, Doosan defeated KIA 3-1 and is now just one win away from clinching a postseason berth.
Speaking after the game, Kwak said, “I forgot my good balance a little bit due to my gallbladder. The beginning of today’s game was really bad, but the coaches helped me and my batting brothers scored runs, so I was able to throw with confidence.” “My gallbladder injury is not 100%, but it’s almost healed. I still have a slight feeling, but it’s nothing to worry about.”
Uncharacteristically, Kwak threw 54 sliders on the day, half of his 109 pitches. Thirty-five were fastballs that reached 152 mph. When asked if he changed his game plan, Kwak said, “My fastballs weren’t getting strikes. (Yang) Willie caught it early in the first inning, so I gave him a slider sign, and the slider went in. It was a bold and aggressive pitch.”
The South Korean baseball team, led by coach Ryu Jung-il, has won its fourth consecutive title. South Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the baseball final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball Stadium in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday (July 7). The victory avenged a 0-4 loss in the second game of the Group B preliminary round against Chinese Taipei on June 2. Moon Dong-joo and Kwak Bin of South Korea celebrate the victory.
Kwak developed fluid in his right wing bone earlier this month while preparing for his first match of the Hangzhou Asian Games against Hong Kong. To make matters worse, he developed a high fever, and after a series of treatments, including ringers, injections, acupuncture, and painkillers, he managed to recover and was placed in the bullpen, but never got a chance to play.
Kwak Bin had to struggle to win the gold medal he so desperately wanted. He was mocked as a “zero-ball gold medalist” and criticized for getting a free ride, while others pointed out his special military service benefits for not playing a single game.
“It’s been very hard to hear bad things about me in recent days, and I wanted to showcase my pitching in this game, so I was conscious of that,” he said.
South Korea’s national baseball team, led by coach Ryu Jung-il, has won its fourth consecutive title. South Korea defeated Chinese Taipei 2-0 in the baseball final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball Stadium in Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China, on Sunday (July 7). The victory avenged a 0-4 loss in the second game of the Group B preliminary round against Chinese Taipei two days earlier. Moon Dong-joo and Kwak Bin of South Korea embrace after the game.
We also got to hear some of the stories behind their disastrous Asian Games. “Two hours before my first match against Hong Kong, I was warming up and Dam came over and told the trainer. He told me to rest, not to push myself, so I rested that day, and the next day I played catch in front of Coach Choi Il-un.” “But that night, I felt sick, and my fever rose to nearly 39 degrees. I cried myself to sleep at dawn, and in the morning, I got a ringer and three bile-releasing injections, but it didn’t get better. Afterward, I received painful acupuncture to loosen my muscles on a holiday, and the gall was released.”
“I pitched in the Super Round against China and waited. Then in the final, I loosened my arm from the second inning, but (Moon) Dong-ju pitched so well. We had a must-win game in the second half, so I thought it was right to leave him in charge.”
At the end of the day, after all the twists and turns, Liu Zhong-il won the gold medal in Hangzhou to win his fourth consecutive Asian Games title. However, Kwak Bin, who didn’t throw a single ball, felt uncomfortable. “It was so hard,” he said, “I felt sorry for my teammates every time I saw them. I felt very uncomfortable because I couldn’t help the team with my injury,” he said. “But my older brothers and juniors told me that everything was fine and gave me a lot of encouragement.”
“I went to the national team twice this year (WBC and Asian Games), and in both tournaments, I realized that I was not good enough. I saw pitchers from Taiwan and Japan, and they were really good. I’m not that good. I’m always humbled when I go,” he said.
He added, “But I feel like I got a little bit of a weight off my shoulders with the win today (Nov. 13). If I’m selected for the national team again, I’ll be eager to show it,” he emphasized.
Kwak-Bin’s eyes now turn to the postseason for the first time in two years. Unlike last year, this year’s team is in line for a fall appearance, as Doosan is one win away from qualifying if they win one game and KIA loses one.
Kwak Bin, who finished the season with a 12-7 record and a 2.90 ERA in 23 games, said, “This year is better than last year, but it’s not enough and I was lucky. It’s also my fault for not taking care of myself. I have to work hard to build a healthy body,” he said. “I think if I keep today’s feeling, rest well, gain more strength, and throw in fall baseball, I will have good results. I’m determined to do better than I did in fall baseball two years ago.”