“The losing streak started with me. I broke my winning streak and started a losing streak, so there was a lot of pressure on me. My goal in the second half was to stay calm, and I’m glad it worked out.”
Kwak Bin (Doosan Bears) ended a losing streak that started with him.
Doosan snapped a five-game losing streak with an 8-3 victory over the Hanwha Eagles in the 2023 KBO League regular season on Monday at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon.
At the center of the victory was ace Kwak Bin. He pitched seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball, striking out 10 and walking one to improve to 9-3 on the season and snap the team’s losing streak. It was all the more significant because he had just suffered his third loss of the season on April 26 against the Lotte Giants in Jamsil, giving up four runs in five innings, snapping the team’s 11-game winning streak the day before. That loss started a five-game losing streak for Doosan.
Kwak Bin had to feel the pressure and responsibility, and he handled it perfectly in the first game.
Kwak Bin’s first words to the media after the match were about responsibility: “The losing streak started with me. I broke the winning streak and started the losing streak, so there was a lot of pressure on me. My goal in the second half was to stay calm, and I’m glad it worked out.”
With this win, Kwak Bin’s ERA for the season dropped to 2.34. He’s on pace for his 10th win of the season. His only regret is his innings. In his previous 13 starts, he had seven quality starts (6+ innings or less) and only two quality starts plus (7+ innings or less). Both were in April, and he hasn’t gone past six innings since. That’s because I was throwing more pitches per at-bat, and I was over 100 pitches in just six innings.
Today was different. He threw 99 pitches in the seventh inning and was efficient enough to make it to the eighth. When I asked Kwak Bin for his secret, he said, “It was hot today, so I thought I’d rather be hit than give up a walk, so I threw down the middle regardless of the pitch, and I think that’s why my pitch count was so efficient.”
Throwing to center field is still possible with the right equipment. What changed was his arm angle. Before the game, Lee said, “According to reports, my arm angle was a little higher, which caused the pitch to shake. Last time, I heard that he was pitching with a tracker on at Jamsil Stadium to find a zero. It seems to be getting stronger and higher when I pitch.”
It was true. “After pitching against Lotte on the 26th, I took two days off and pitched in the bullpen at the Jamsil mound. It helped me a lot to measure with the Trackman,” he said, explaining the secret to adjusting his arm angle. “I think it’s because of my greed. When the arm angle goes up, I feel that the pitch is more lively, and I feel that the delivery is better, so I think I put a lot of effort into it without realizing it. I paid attention to that part, and I think (today’s game) went well.”
Meanwhile, Kwak Bin also had praise for his opponent, junior Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha). Moon took the loss after giving up two runs in five innings on a single home run, but he was unstoppable against Kwak Bin. “I think Moon Dong-ju is the number two right-handed pitcher in Korea,” Kwak Binh laughed. The number one is not himself, but his best friend Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom Heroes). He praised his junior Moon Dong-ju.
“We’re in the same agency,” says Kwak Bin. We’re not close, but I was really excited to play against him,” he says with a smile. “When I started in the second half 메이저토토사이트 of the year, the rotation order was the same as mine. I think Dong-ju is a better pitcher than me, even though she is a junior, so I pitched today with the idea of learning whether I win or lose, so I had a lot of fun,” he complimented.
With nine wins on the day, Kwak Bin surpassed his career high of eight wins (2022) and is on track to record his first 10-win season. It’s also a significant milestone for Doosan. After failing to produce a single 10-win pitcher last year, Raul Alcantara has already surpassed the 10-win plateau, and Kwak-Bin brings back the one-two punch.