Ryu Jung-il has arrived in Hangzhou, China, where he will try to win his fourth consecutive Asian Games (AG) title.
The AG baseball team, led by head coach Ryu Jung-il, arrived at Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport in Hangzhou, China, on the afternoon of Aug. 28. “It’s definitely hot (in Hangzhou, China),” Ryu laughed.
The team will have two days of training on Oct. 29-30 before starting the tournament schedule on Oct. 1. They will face Hong Kong on October 1, Chinese Taipei on October 2, and the qualifying teams on October 3.
The most important date is the second game of the qualifiers against Chinese Taipei, which is actually the deciding game for first place in Group B. This year’s Taiwanese squad is particularly strong, with seven American minor leaguers on the roster due to expanded military service benefits. Five years ago, no Taiwanese minor leaguers participated in the AG, and the team was composed of 10 CPBL players and seven players from unemployment teams.
“We have two days to decide on a starting pitcher. In particular, we need to decide whether to use Kwak Bin (Doosan Bears) or Moon Dong-ju (Hanwha Eagles) against Taiwan,” Ryu said.
Both started side-by-side in a scrimmage against Commerce at the Gocheok Dome on Nov. 26, when the national team sought permission from Commerce to mix national team players in the scrimmage so that more players could get a feel for the game. Kwak Bin and Moon Dong-ju each pitched three scoreless innings.스포츠토토
“We will consider the swing trajectory of the Taiwanese batters and the pitching trajectory of the two of them together to decide who is better suited to the opposing batters or not,” Liu said in a local interview.
In-team form is also a factor. “According to the coaches who have been to the Olympics in the past (Ryu Ji-hyun, Lee Jong-yeol, etc.), the players are in much better shape than they were then. The pitchers are all in good shape,” he said.
As in previous AGs, a three-way tournament between Korea, Japan, and Taiwan is expected. Japan’s national team is centered around social baseball, and Taiwan is considered a lesser power. However, South Korea has occasionally lost to Japan and Taiwan in the AG.
Coach Ryu Joong-il said, “We will try to finish first in the group and qualify.”