Escape from the jinx after 8 years… Choi Won-tae, “Last year’s fall baseball was the turning point”

Professional baseball Kiwoom Heroes pitcher Choi Won-tae (26) escaped the “first loss jinx of the season” after 8 years. Choi Won-tae started in the home game against the LG Twins held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 5th and threw well with 5 hits, 3 walks and 1 run in 6 innings. He led Kiwoom to a 2-1 victory, harvesting his first win of the season and the team’s third win of the season at the same time.

Choi Won-tae, who joined after being nominated for the first time in 2015, has had the bad luck of losing his first game every year from 2016 when he debuted in the first team until last year. The 2016 KT Wiz match, 2017 Lotte Giants match, 2018 Hanwha Eagles match, 2019 Doosan Bears match, 2020-2021 KIA Tigers match, and last year’s LG match were all like that.

This year, when he played against LG as a 4th starter, he was worried in his heart. He said, “Since the coach said, ‘I’m going to the fourth game,’ I really thought, ‘I have to win this time.’”

Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki also applauded Choi Won-tae for breaking the chain of misfortune on his own. “Choi Won-tae tends to have difficulties at the beginning of the season and the beginning of the game, so we talked through interviews before the camp. In this game, he faithfully fulfilled his duties on the mound.” He gave a thumbs up, saying, “I pitched well according to my plan.” 메이저놀이터

Choi Won-tae’s turning point was last year’s postseason. From the semi-playoffs to the Korean Series, he was put in as a bullpen pitcher in 9 fall baseball games, playing a role in preventing crises. It was a new and valuable experience for Choi Won-tae, who had only played a starting role since his debut. He said, “When I was a bullpen pitcher, I realized how much pressure it is to go on the mound when there are runners.

In fact, Choi Won-tae threw 104 balls to fill 6 innings that day. This is the highest number of pitches in 2 years and 9 months since the match against KT in Suwon on July 4, 2020 (105). The top speed also reached 151 km/h. He said, “I felt a lot while watching the team collapse due to one mistake (finishing home run) in Game 5 of the Korean Series last year. I prepared harder for this season while reflecting on that memory.” I tried to keep the feeling,” he explained.

It was rather helpful to train at the 2nd team camp in Taiwan instead of the 1st team camp in Arizona, USA. Choi Won-tae said, “Because the weather in Taiwan was nice, I did a lot more long toss than usual with coach Shin Seong-young, and that has become a routine until now. Also, after listening to senior Moon Seong-hyun, I threw the ball while raising my arm shorter, and my velocity went up a lot.” did.

The curve, which had been used less often after coming to pro, was refined again as a ‘weapon’. Choi Won-tae was proud, saying, “I have been able to use the curve confidently in practice by going to many games in Taiwan and throwing it against hitters as often as possible.” On this day, Won-tae Choi mixed various pitches, including 14 curveballs, fastballs (29), change-ups (27), sliders (25), two-seam fastballs (8), and cut fastballs (1) to block the LG lineup.

Kiwoom has built a solid starting lineup this season. Ace Ahn Woo-jin is the best pitcher in the active KBO league. Foreign one-two punchers Eric Yokishi and Ariel Furado are also showing off their stable skills. All three pitchers served as starting pitchers by pitching more than five innings in their first appearance this season.

Choi Won-tae said, “Our team’s 1st to 3rd picks are really good. It will be perfect if I (the 4th starter) and Jang Jae-young (5th starter) hold on well from behind.” I’ll throw it.” He laughed again.

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