After struggling in each of his three matches, Choi looks to ‘buffer’ with rest
Choi Won-jun (29-Dusan Bears), who picked up his first win of the season after a difficult start, will try to get his second win of the season.
Doosan head coach Lee Seung-yeop rearranged his weekly starting order after the team’s home game against SSG Landers at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul was canceled on April 28. Originally, Doosan was scheduled to start Choi Won-jun on Saturday, followed by Kwak Bin, who returned from injury on Sunday.
However, both games were canceled. When only Saturday was canceled, Lee Seung-yeop’s plan was to keep Kwak-bin’s start date and move Choi Won-jun’s start to a later date, but Sunday’s game was also canceled. If he had kept the order as it was, he could have used Kwak-Bin on Tuesday and Choi Won-Joon on Wednesday.
However, Lee chose to start Kwak-Bin on Tuesday and Won-Joon Choi on Wednesday in order to avoid overworking Kwak-Bin, who was just making his comeback. If Kwak-Bin pitched on Tuesday, he would only have four days of rest and would have to pitch again on Sunday.
The team also hoped that Choi Won-jun would benefit from the rest day. “Choi Won-jun’s pitches tend to come alive when he gets a lot of rest,” Lee Seung-yeop told reporters on the 28th. “In the last game, he pitched on four days’ rest and his strength dropped quickly. This time, he’s throwing after nine days of rest. I think the rainout will have a positive effect (on the team).” 토토사이트
Indeed, Choi has gotten a taste of rest this season. In two games on four days’ rest, he allowed six earned runs in 10 innings (5.40 ERA), and in three games on five days’ rest, he allowed 11 earned runs in 15 innings (6.60 ERA). His batting averages were also high, at 0.317 and 0.305.
On the other hand, with more than six days of rest (including his first start of the season on April 2), he was a completely different pitcher, with five earned runs in three games and 21 innings (2.14 ERA). His strikeouts didn’t increase, but his batting average plummeted to .178.
It’s time for Choi to get back to his strengths: stability. Until last year, he was a 10-win guarantee with a total of 30 wins in three seasons, but this season, he has given up more than one run every three games. He pitched well against the KIA Tigers on April 8 (5 runs in 5 innings), then against the Hanwha Eagles on April 18 (7 innings of no-hit ball) and against the KT Wiz on April 23 (1 run in 6 innings). He then collapsed against the SSG Landers on the 29th (6 runs in 4 innings), but bounced back in the next two games before giving up 5 runs in 4 innings against KT on the 21st of this month. It’s a far cry from the ‘guarantee check’ he’s been for the past three years.
The team also needs Choi to pitch well. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said on May 28, “May was actually a time when we needed to be strong. However, we passed the month in a lull,” he said. “There are still two games left in May. We need to reflect on the things that didn’t go well in the games, and we will prepare to show a different Doosan in June.”
The final pitchers of May will be Choi Won-jun and returning April ace Kwak Bin (3-1 with a 0.88 ERA in April). Choi is also the leader of the Doosan starting rotation, with Kwak saying, “Our ace is my brother.” Now it’s time for him to spearhead Doosan’s comeback.