In 2022, LG Twins closer Ko Woo-seok had the 스포츠토토 best season since his professional debut. He appeared in 61 games, where he went 4-2 with 42 saves, an earned run average of 1.48, and an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.548. With his fastball with an average speed of 153.5 km/h and a strong fastball, he reached the 40 save mark for the first time since his professional debut and won the title of king of saves. 스포츠토토
He also set a new record for the most saves in a season in the history of the club, beating prominent LG senior finishers such as Kim Yong-soo, Lee Sang-hoon, and Bong Joong-geun. With an average ERA in the mid-1 point range and only two blown saves, the stability was substantial.
In the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which will be held in March, Ko Woo-seok is highly likely to be on the national team and take on the heavy duty of finishing. International tournaments are often a pitching battle where hitters play against powerful but unfamiliar pitchers and don’t score much.
The role of bullpen pitchers is very important as the WBC has a pitch limit for pitcher protection. It seems that the success or failure of Korean baseball will depend on whether Ko Woo-seok can finish the game with a narrow lead.
For Go Woo-seok, it is a good opportunity to wash away the humiliation of the Tokyo Olympics held in 2021. In the semi-final against his fateful rival Japan, Ko Woo-seok took the mound in the bottom of the 8th inning when the score was tied 2:2. However, Ko Woo-seok, who made a defensive mistake in a situation where he had to cover the first base, caused a crisis with two outs loaded with a walk, overlapping with the first ball hunting.
Afterwards, Go Woo-seok was hit by Yamada’s 3-run, sweeping double in the final and was recorded as the losing pitcher, and Korea lost 2-5 to Japan. Korea, which was frustrated by this defeat, had to return home with a no medal after losing 6-10 to Dominica in the bronze medal match. In the end, the baseball team, which finished in 4th place among the 6 participating countries, could not avoid the barrage of criticism from public opinion, and the public’s interest in professional baseball was also dampened.
The WBC, which will be held two years after the Tokyo Olympics, will be a good stage for Go Woo-suk to prove his growth. Compared to 2021, Ko Woo-seok last year showed a more mature sharpness of the breaking ball and game management.
For Go Woo-suk, who is aiming to advance into the major leagues through future postings, it is also a good opportunity to make a mark on major league clubs through WBC activities. Recently, Ko Woo-seok respectfully declined the offer of a non-FA long-term contract from the LG club and did not hide his desire to enter the major leagues.
It is also of interest whether Ko Woo-seok will take the lead in LG’s challenge to win the championship for the first time in 29 years after completing the WBC. Last year was expected to be the right time for LG to win, but it was defeated by Kiwoom Heroes in the playoffs with 1 win and 3 losses and failed to advance to the Korean Series, so it stayed in 3rd place in the final rankings.
Due to the departure of free agent Chae Eun-seong and Yoo Gang-nam, LG’s power this year is evaluated to be worse than last year. Ko Woo-seok must crack down on the back door as he did last year, so LG can win the long-awaited presidency.
Ko Woo-seok is about to marry Lee Ga-hyun, the daughter of coach Lee Jong-beom and the younger sister of Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom), on January 6th. Attention is focusing on whether Ko Woo-seok, who will become the new groom, will take the lead in restoring Korean baseball and LG’s pride.