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Fair Weather on Doosan Mound

Posted September. 29, 2001 08:28,   


There are many miraculous things about the pitcher for pro-baseball team Doosan Bears who will star in this season`s semi-playoffs as the number three player.

There is only one pitcher for the regular inning and Lee Hae-Chun is the replacement pitcher. Moreover, there is almost no one among its pitchers, starring or otherwise, who pitched ten winning games. Lee Hae-Chun and Jin Pil-Choong pitched nine winning games. Among the eight team organization, only Doosan and Hanhwa did not have a pitcher who pitched ten winning games.

Despite this, Doosan climbed to the number three spot early on after beating Samsung and Hyundai due to their batting talent – third in team batting average (0.276) and second in team RBI (673 points). Hence, experts predicted that it would be difficult for Doosan with its weak pitching to reach the Korea Series.

When, therefore, the `Three Musketeers` recently stepped on to the mound, Doosan fans felt like they had gained the Roman legion. Park Myong-Hwan (24), Ku Ja-Woon (21), Lee Kyong-Pil (27). Young and fast pitching, these pitchers are the future pillars for the Doosan team. Yet, they have suffered from injuries this season.

Park Myong-Hwan, who threw at a lightning speed of 150 km and entered the season as the star pitcher, suffered a shoulder injury and had step back as the back-up pitcher. The other starting pitcher, Ku Ja-Woon also injured his shoulder during the first half of the season while Lee Kyong-Pil underwent an elbow operation last February and spent a year in rehab.

Early September, these three pitchers reentered the starting line-up and took to the mound. Particularly notable was Ku Ja-Woon who took the mound as starting pitcher and won with six base hits and three points in five innings, obviously pleasing the coaching staff. Pitching coach Choi Il-Un said, ``He has not recovered 100 percent but he definitely can pitch as the starting pitcher in the post-season.``

Ku Ja-Woon came back in August and appears to have completely recovered. He has not felt any particular pain in the shoulders after 88 pitches.

Returning to the mound this season, Lee Kyong-Pil has yet to recover completely. Due to an injured elbow, it is difficult for him to pitch many innings and cannot pitch above 140 km. Yet, as a seasoned player despite his age, he can pitch as second pitcher for one to two innings.

Park Myong-Hwan suffered a shoulder injury last year and returned to pitch brilliantly in the Fall for the Korea Series. Although he suffered shoulder pains, his condition fortunately improved near the end of the season. Having overcome its weakness in pitching power, Doosan is likely to raise its performance this season, thanks to these three players.

Kim Sang-Soo ssoo@donga.com