Ryu Jung-il-ho was once again swept by Taiwan. A stifling batting lineup was one thing, but the loss of trusted pitchers Park Se-woong (28-Lotte Giants) and Ko Woo-seok (25-LG Twins) on the mound was another.
South Korea’s baseball team, led by Ryu Jung-il, fell to Chinese Taipei 0-4 in the second game of their baseball Group B match at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Center in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China on Tuesday.
South Korea, which won the first game against Hong Kong 10-0 in the eighth inning, was swept in the second game by the feisty Chinese Taipei, who are battling for first place in the group.
South Korea lost to Chinese Taipei for the third straight time at the 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games and the 2019 World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) Premier12.
In baseball, the top two teams in Groups A and B advance to the Super Round based on their group results, so the loss to Chinese Taipei puts a cloud over Korea’s bid for a fourth straight title.
The biggest disappointment was the batting lineup. The Korean bats struggled to get to Taiwan’s left-handed starter, Lin Yi-min, and remained scoreless after she was sent down.
The mound was equally shaky.
South Korea brought in right-hander Young Gun Moon Dong-ju, a hard-throwing right-hander, to start the game against Chinese Taipei, which was their fourth straight Asian Games.
Moon gave up a double and a triple in the first inning to give Chinese Taipei the lead, and in the bottom of the fourth, after an infield single and a walk put runners on second and third, he threw a wild pitch to load the bases.
The Korean bench then switched to Park Se-woong on the mound in the bottom of the fifth.
The results were not good.
Park gave up a leadoff single to Lin Zhihao in the bottom of the fifth. He induced a grounder to third base to get the lead runner out, then got Zheng Zhengzhi to fly out to left field, but threw a wild pitch to Lin Zhiwei.
Unable to settle down, Park walked Linley on a seven-pitch count to load the bases with two outs.
South Korea opted to make another change, with Choi Ji-min (KIA Tigers) taking over on the mound. Choi got Lin Anker to ground out to first base, narrowly averting the threat of a big inning.
If Choi hadn’t gotten out of the jam, Korea could have given Taiwan an early lead.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the sixth, Park Young-hyun (KT Wiz) pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to keep the score at 0-2, and Korea brought in Go Woo-seok in the seventh.
The Koreans brought in key resources from their bullpen to try and pull off the upset without giving up any more runs, but Ko did not live up to expectations.
After giving up a single to Wu Yenting, he threw a hard-hit ball to Li Hao-yue and allowed runners to advance on Sun Hao-wei’s grounder to first base, putting runners on second and third. Lin Zhihao then hit a two-run single to center field to score two runs. It was a moment that completely turned the tide in Taiwan’s favor.
The struggles of trusted players Park Se-woong and Ko Woo-seok added to South Korea’s disappointment.
Park Se-woong, Lotte’s homegrown ace, had been touted as a possible starter for the tournament.
With a solid 8-7 record with a 3.41 ERA this season, Park also has experience with the Korean national team, having represented Korea at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 and the World Baseball Classic (WBC) in March of this year.
With the tournament having its own age limit, the national team coaching staff used a wild card to select Park.
The right-hander is a key part of South Korea’s bullpen, having earned 42 saves last year.
He’s had an up-and-down season 토토사이트 this year, posting just 15 saves and a 3.68 ERA, but he could be the anchor of the bullpen at the Asian Games.
But neither Park Se-woong nor Ko Woo-seok were able to capitalize on their first Asian Games starts.
With neither the batting lineup nor the mound working out, Korea now finds itself in a thorny position.