Doosan’s ‘national ace’ departs for LG Electronics on 31st, goes all-in with one-two punch against Lotte… 5-way battle for the title
The Doosan Bears pulled out their domestic ace Kwak Bin early after rain canceled their game for the second straight day. It was a calculated move to improve their chances of winning.
After their game against the LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on the 30th was canceled due to rain, Doosan made adjustments to their starting rotation. Brandon Waddell, who was scheduled to start on the 30th, was given extra rest and moved back, and Kwak-Bin, who was originally scheduled to start on the 31st, took the mound.
Kwak has been one of the most reliable starters alongside Raul Alcantara all season. His 10-6 record in 18 starts, 102 innings pitched, and 2.74 ERA earned him a spot on the baseball team for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games next month. Although his pace slowed in the second half of the season, he rebounded with an eight-inning no-hitter against the SSG Landers in Jamsil on May 25 to reach the 10-win plateau for the first time in his six-year career.
Brandon, who joined the team as a substitute in June, has also fulfilled his second-string duties. In 10 games, he has a 6-3 record, 58 innings pitched, and a 3.10 ERA.
However, Brandon has been particularly weak against LG. In his first start of the season against LG on March 30, he suffered one major setback, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on seven hits, five walks and one strikeout in four innings.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop had to consider adjusting his starting rotation. “I think I need to consult with the pitching coach,” Lee said after the rainout was canceled. In the end, Lee decided to make the change because he felt that Kwak-Bin would be a stronger pitcher than Brandon against LG.
The game plan for the alternate starting pitcher also had to change. Doosan was planning to fill the two spots in the starting rotation this week with alternates Lee Won-jae and Park Shin-ji. With two games on the 29th and 30th canceled due to rain, one of Lee and Park will not get a chance to pitch this week.
Doosan plans to use Kwak Bin against LG and then use both foreign one-two punchers, Brandon and Alcanta, in a three-game weekend series against the Lotte Giants in Busan from March 1-3 to secure at least a winning series.
Doosan, which has lost two straight, is in sixth place with a season record of 54 wins, 53 losses and one tie as of the 30th. They are 0.5 games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers. While this is a distance that can be overturned in one game, a longer losing streak will only make the fight for the top five more difficult. LG needs Kwak-bin to pick up the slack now to get back into the top five. Can Kwak Bin live up to Lee’s expectations?스포츠토토
Meanwhile, LG also made a change in their starting pitching. Lee Jung-yong, who was scheduled to start on the 30th, will be given extra rest and Casey Kelly will start on the 31st. Kelly has struggled a bit this season with an 8-7 record, 141⅓ innings pitched, and a 4.39 ERA in 24 games, but has been solid against Doosan with a 2-1 record, 20 innings pitched, and a 2.70 ERA in three games.