The first opponent of the Korean baseball team in the first round of Group B of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) is Australia. Korea will play against Australia on the 9th at noon at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. They must beat Australia to make it easier to get tickets to the quarterfinals given to the top two teams. Considering that Japan is ahead of us in terms of objective strength, the opponent in the second game is more desperate to win against Australia.
In terms of objective strength, Korea is ahead of Australia. Korea is ahead of Australia with 8 wins and 3 losses. After winning the 7th cold game, 16-2 in the final qualifying round for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he has been on an eight-game winning streak. In the WBC, they met once in the first round of the 2013 tournament and won 6-0.
Australia’s apparent power is not as strong as expected. The most famous Australian baseball player is Liam Hendricks, a top-class closer for the Chicago White Sox of the Major League Baseball (MLB). However, Hendricks was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, and his joining the national team was canceled.
A significant number of Australian prospects who are active in the American minor leagues are also missing. At least, there are only two players with MLB experience. One of them is Warik Saupold (first hit), a right-handed pitcher who played for the Hanwha Eagles in 2019 and 2020. Saupold, who appeared in 59 games in the KBO League and recorded 22-24 and an average ERA of 4.16, is likely to start in the Korean War.
The part that Korea is most wary of is left-handed pitchers. There are six left-handed pitchers on the Australian pitching staff. In particular, John Kennedy (Melbourne Aces), a pitcher with a height of 201 cm, is evaluated as having a formidable pitch. Kennedy pitched in 13 games in the Australian Professional League (ABL), which ended in January, striking out 14 in 17⅔ innings and leaving an ERA of 2.55.
Outfielder Aaron Whitefield (LA Angels), who played an active role in the major leagues last season, and Robbie Glendining, who hit 22 homers in the minor league Double-A under the Kansas City Royals last season, are notable players. The fact that the players’ sense of the game is alive right after the end of the Australian League is something we need to be wary of.
If the first game against Australia goes well, the next day, the 10th, at 7:00 pm, we will face Japan immediately. Japan, the champion of the 1st and 2nd WBC tournaments, is evaluated as the strongest team ever. In the big leagues, there are only four active major leaguers, including superstars Shohei Ohtani (San Diego Padres) and Yu Darvish (San Diego Padres), Lars Nutba (St. Louis Cardinals), and Masataka Yoshida (Boston Red Sox).
Loki Sasaki (Chiba Lotte), who became the youngest player ever to pitch a perfect pitch in the Japanese league last year (20 years and 5 months), and Munetaka Murakami (Yakult Swallows), the protagonist who set the record for the most home runs in a single season (56) in Japan are also competing There is no inferiority as a strong championship candidate who has been recognized by others. 안전놀이터
South Korea is slightly ahead of Japan in all-time records. In 37 matches, 19 wins and 18 losses. If you look at the WBC tournament alone, it is tight with 4 wins and 4 losses. However, the recent trend is that Japan has the upper hand. Starting with the Premier 12 Super Round in 2019 and ending with the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, he suffered three consecutive losses.
Darvish is expected to be selected for the Korean match expected by the Japanese media. Darvish, who is eating rice with Kim Ha-seong and San Diego, proved his strength by winning 16 wins (8 losses) in the big leagues last season. He throws a variety of pitches, including sinkers, cutters, sliders, curveballs, splitters, and changeups, along with fastballs with a maximum velocity of 160 km.
There is also a relationship with Korea. During the 2009 WBC, he pitched 8 innings in 3 games against Korea, going 1-1 with an earned run average of 3.38. He must be a formidable opponent, but it is evaluated that he is not at a level that our batters cannot attack at all.