In the 2021 professional baseball Korean Series (KS, 4 out of 7), where a fierce match was expected, KT, who ranked first in the regular league, won 3 consecutive victories and secured a 100% chance of winning, the first since its debut in the first team in 7 seasons in 2015. It was a one-sided flow as they approached the unified championship. Doosan, who was in fourth place in the regular league, recorded a new history of advancing to the KS for the first time in history by winning the wild card finals, semi-playoffs and playoffs for the first time in history.
In this process, it is evaluated that KT has laid the foundation for continuing to become a strong player not only this season but also next year by showing the aspect of a ‘one team’ with a solid organizational ability where all players do their best in the right place. On the other hand, Doosan, which was evaluated as weak, showed its ability to climb to the KS this season, but there are growing concerns about whether it will be able to achieve the same result this year next year.
The fact that KT is a strong team is revealed in the fact that there are so many players that they are not inferior to whoever is selected as the KS MVP this time. Kang Baek-ho, Hwang Jae-kyun, Bae Jeong-dae, and others hit each other when needed, and the defense is stable. Among them, Park Kyung-soo, who made his KS debut at the age of 37, stands out the most. In the second game, he saved the team with a rain that blew his body and was selected as the Daily MVP, and in the third game, he blew a final solo shot and served with a luxury defense to win the ‘Today’s Big Hitter’ (the main character in the final blow) and became a strong candidate for the KS MVP. . However, it is unfortunate that he was diagnosed with a calf muscle rupture during the 3rd game and was diagnosed for 6 weeks and could not play in the rest of the series.
On the mound, all three starting pitchers, William Cuevas, Sojoon Sok, and Audrey Samer Despaine, all played their part, and Cuevas and Despaine were selected as Daily MVPs in the first and third games, respectively. Here, Kim Jae-yoon, the closing pitcher, took the saves in the first and third games and locked the back door firmly, so he is also qualified as a KS MVP candidate.
This appearance of KT was possible because KT coach Lee Kang-cheol’s strong will to lift the championship trophy with the power of all entries without relying on a few players while emphasizing ‘one team’ prior to this series was realized. The fact that such a strong team color has been established means that KT has prepared an opportunity to establish itself as a strong player not only this season but also in the future.
On the other hand, Doosan, who went through a difficult KS, is worried about what will happen after this year. The key is whether or not to maintain the power that has achieved the feat of entering KS for 7 consecutive years right now until next year. Above all, Kim Jae-hwan and Park Geon-woo, the key players of outfield defense and attack, will appear in the free agent (FA) market at the same time, but it is unclear whether Doosan will be able to catch both. Because other teams are coveted players. Doosan has lost a lot of free agents over the past few years and their power has weakened.
Because of this, some are concerned that this year will be the ‘last dance’ for Doosan to step on the KS stage. Of course, this year, Doosan also showed the potential of young pitchers such as Kwak Bin, and Kang Seung-ho and Park Gye-beom have grown in the positions of existing infielders such as Oh Jae-won and Kim Jae-ho. Kim In-tae, who is good at hitting the outfield, and Ahn Kwon-soo, who has excellent defensive and running sense, are growing, and they are still showing some aspects of a good match. However, doubts are growing as to whether Doosan will become as strong as before.
[ⓒ 세계일보 & Segye.com, 무단전재 및 재배포 금지]
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