Won Tae-in, a man of high spirits, and Moon Dong-ju, a man of low spirits

“Korea’s second pitcher threw boldly well.” Padres manager Mike Shildt praised a pitcher after a friendly match between Team Korea and the San Diego Padres held at Gocheok Dome in Seoul in March. It was Won Tae-in (24) of Samsung, who took the mound as the second pitcher of the day. Won Tae-in pitched in a scoreless manner, striking out three in the third and fourth innings.안전놀이터

Until the beginning of this season’s professional baseball game, the spotlight was still on Moon Dong-ju, the winner of last year’s Rookie of the Year award and starter at the Asian Games finals in Hangzhou. However, the mood completely changed in just over a month since the opening of this season. While Moon was going down to the second tier after showing extreme sluggish performance, Won Tae-in is solidly maintaining his pride as an “native ace.” As of Tuesday, Won has five wins this season, tying for first with Kia starter Will Crow. With an ERA of 1.79, he is ranking second overall after KIA starter James Nail (1.26).

This contrasts sharply with Moon Dong-joo’s disappointing performance with one win and two losses and an 8.78 ERA this season. His performance in the early stages of last season, when he won the Rookie of the Year award with an average ERA of 8 wins, 8 losses, and 3.72 with an average fastball of 151 kilometers per hour, was overshadowed. Against Doosan on the 28th of last month, Moon Dong-joo showed his worst slump with 10 hits, 3 hits, 3 homers and 9 runs in 3 1/3 innings. He went down to the second division without any injuries for the first time since his professional debut the next day, and is expected to return on the 8th and 9th. This season, Moon’s average fastball speed was 149 kilometers per hour, down 2 kilometers from last year, and against Doosan, his average speed dropped to 146.8 kilometers per hour. The flat curve leads to long balls. The coaching staff believes that even his control was shaken and he was forced to go to the second division.

On the other hand, Won Tae-in, who recorded 7 wins and 7 losses in 26 games last year, is showing an early pace of the season, when he can win 18-19 games beyond the 2021 season, when he recorded the most wins as an individual with 14 wins. In the baseball world, there is an evaluation that “Won Tae-in’s control of his ball control and speed control has risen.” If he focused on throwing fast in the early days of his professional debut, he is now cooking batters with his free control of his ball control and height control of his breaking ball that pokes into the corner of the strike zone.

In particular, his pitches in all different colors stand out. His four-seam fastballs, which used to be over 40 percent every season, have decreased to 33 percent this season, while his performance in breaking balls has increased. While using his main weapons, sliders and changeups, at 26 to 30 percent each, he increased his curveball ratio, which he attributed to his weaknesses, from 4 percent last year to 7 percent this year. During the last Seoul Series, Won also learned how to throw curves from Los Angeles Dodgers starter Tyler Glasnow. “When I throw, I have a lot of mental leeway, and I can see my skill in making good use of my breaking balls,” said Yang Sang-moon, a SPOTV commentator.

Won’s five wins are not his only contribution. Koo Ja-wook (batting average 0.328, six homers and 28 RBIs), McKinnon (batting average 0.387, three homers and 18 RBIs), and Kim Young-woong (batting average 0.303, eight homers and 22 RBIs) are supporting batters with solid support. The league’s strongest bullpen, joined by Kim Jae-yoon (seven holds) and Lim Chang-min (eight holds), will take care of Oh Seung-hwan (nine saves). Amid their performances, Samsung is ranking third with 20 wins, 15 losses and one draw.

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