There is one person who has surprised Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop, who has been playing professionally for more than 20 years, including his time in Japan Professional Baseball (NPB). It’s Yang Ji Won, the “Doosan’s safe haven”.
Before the team’s ninth game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League season against SSG Landers at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on April 25, Lee reviewed Yang’s hit in the previous day’s away game against the Kiwoom Heroes.
The moment the manager was referring to was the top of the fifth inning, when the team led 6-4. Facing a 2-2 count, Yangji crushed a five-pitch slider from Kiwoom pitcher Ha Young-min for a single to right field that went between second and third base, allowing pinch runner Jose Rojas to score from third. Yang finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs, his first multi-hit game since returning from injury.
“I’ve played a lot of baseball myself, but it was such a good hit that I can’t help but admire it,” Lee said. “Home runs, doubles, and triples are good hits, but when the bases are empty, how many batters out of 100 in Korea can hit that way? That’s actually really hard,” Lee said.
He continued, “Whether you intend to or not, you can hit it there. He knows his condition perfectly and plays baseball even though his body is not in perfect condition,” Lee said with a smile. “He is a good player, but I think he has a good sense of hitting and knows baseball a little bit, so I think he is a smart player.”
Yang left the first-team roster on Aug. 8 with a partial tear in his side muscle, and since then, Doosan has struggled to accumulate wins, going 3-7 in 10 games and collapsing to a 5 percent winning percentage. While the injury only lasted two weeks, Doosan felt the absence of their starting catcher acutely.안전놀이터
With Yang’s arrival, Doosan closed out the midweek three-game series with a sweep, and now has its sights set higher. They are narrowly holding on to fifth place with 53 wins, 1 loss and 51 ties (0.510), but they can’t be satisfied with their current position. Manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “Of course, facing a lower-ranked team will have an impact, but I think our batting lineup could have made a comeback and gained a little more energy when we were losing. The problem is consistency. In order to win the Winning Series, the batters and pitchers need to show good form,” he said, calling on the rest of the team to step up their game.