One win away from a fourth straight Asian Games (AG). It’s time to avenge the group stage humiliation.
South Korea will face Chinese Taipei in the gold medal match at the Hangzhou Asian Games (AG) 2023 at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Center Main Stadium in Hangzhou스포츠토토 Zhejiang Province, China.
South Korea suffered a setback the past two days. They were knocked to their knees 0-4 against Chinese Taipei in their Group B matchup. While it’s clear that the Chinese Taipei squad is better than Korea’s, which has an age- and experience-limited roster, it wasn’t an insurmountable mountain to climb. However, Korea was helpless to do anything about it and lost helplessly.
South Korea picked up two cold-game wins in the group stage, but the bats didn’t click in the first game against Hong Kong, and that carried over into the second game against Chinese Taipei. The Koreans failed to score a single run in six innings against Lin Yi-min, the No. 4 prospect in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ prospect rankings. It was a game that could not be won even if the mound held the Taiwanese bats to minimal runs.
In the end, South Korea went into the Super Round with one loss – their third straight against Chinese Taipei in international competition following the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2019 WBSC Premier12 – and punched their ticket to the final by taking down Japan and China. They faced the Chinese Taipei once again. A chance to make amends for their group stage disappointment.
Lin Yumin/MiLB.com Homepage
For now, Chinese Taipei will stick with Lin Yi-min as their starting pitcher. The Chinese Taipei manager has hinted at a “left-handed starter” for the final against South Korea, but there are only two left-handed pitchers on the roster. One of them, Wang Yen-chung, pitched six innings in the Super Round against Japan the day before, so Lin Yumin will start again after the group stage.
South Korea will have Moon Dong-ju back on the mound for a clean sweep. Moon started against Chinese Taipei in the group stage and gave up two runs (two earned) in four innings. He was unfortunate to give up the first run, as he was hit by a pitch, but the second run was a “blown save,” and he’ll be looking to make up for it.
After Moon Dong-ju, Kwak Bin is likely to start. Kwak Bin was sidelined with a ‘wall’ in preparation for the group stage, but with his condition much improved, he is likely to take the mound behind Moon Dong-ju, barring any special circumstances. As a result, it will be harder for Taiwanese hitters to hit the Korean mound than it was in the group stage.
There’s another positive. The Korean bats really opened up against China on April 6, with the previously silent Kang Baek-ho, Moon Bo-kyung, Kim Hyung-joon, and Kim Sung-yoon all recording hits. Korea’s lineup on the day was Kim Hye-sung (second base), Choi Ji-hoon (center field), Yoon Dong-hee (right field), Noh Si-hwan (third base), Moon Bo-kyung (first base), Kang Baek-ho (designated hitter), Kim Joo-won (shortstop), Kim Hyung-joon (catcher), and Kim Sung-yoon (left field).