I’m sorry, if I had done better sooner…” Moon Dong-ju’s sincerity to former director Choi Won-ho

“I’m sorry. If I had done better sooner, I could have been a strength to the team. It’s a shame.”

Moon Dong-joo (Hanwha Eagles) expressed his desperate feelings about former coach Choi Won-ho, who was his teacher.안전놀이터

The Hanwha Eagles, led by acting manager Chung Kyung-bae, won a landslide 12-3 victory over Lotte Giants led by Kim Tae-hyung at a home game of the 2024 KBO League held at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Sunday. The Eagles thus secured three consecutive wins, recording 22 wins, one draw and 29 losses. It was also the first win for acting manager Chung Kyung-bae, who is replacing Choi Won-ho, who voluntarily resigned.

Starting pitcher Moon Dong-ju displayed stellar performance in the game. He allowed eight hits, four strikeouts and three runs in six innings, while throwing 101 pitches, to secure his third win (two losses) of the season. It was Moon’s first quality start this year (more than six innings and less than three earned runs as a starter).

Other significant results were presented. First of all, he shook off his “lotte phobia” by winning the match. In the meantime, Moon has not shown much performance in six games against Lotte with three losses and a 6.75 ERA. In addition, he has been able to shake off his sluggish performance at the beginning of the season by playing quality pitching in two consecutive games following the game against the LG Twins in Daejeon (five innings, one hit, one walk, four strikeouts and no loss).

“I think it was crucial that I didn’t give any walks,” Moon said after the match. “I was aggressive in the first and second innings helped reduce the number of pitches I pitched. I was weak against Lotte (so far), but I avoided such thoughts. I threw with determination to win no matter what.”

Moon Dong-joo, who was called by Hanwha as the first designation in 2022, is a pitcher who is in the spotlight as the next-generation ace. Although he had a disappointing performance in 13 games (28.2 innings) in his debut season with one win, three losses and a 5.65 ERA in two holds, he won the Rookie of the Year award last year with eight wins, eight losses and a 3.72 ERA in 23 games (118.2 innings), showing further improvement.

However, this season was somewhat disappointing. He suffered from severe slump in the beginning of this season, and recently joined the second division for a while to readjust. Fortunately, he regained stability after returning to the team, and on the day, he achieved his first quality start (more than six innings and less than three earned runs as a starter) for this season.

“[Quality start] is too late. It’s late, but I will try to do more in the remaining games,” Moon said.

The victory was a meaningful result for Hanwha in many ways. It was the first match since Choi Won-ho and CEO Park Chan-hyuk voluntarily resigned due to poor performance.

The atmosphere could have been a bit shaky, but Moon Dong-ju was not shaken. With a good pitch, he gave a farewell gift of victory to former coach Choi Won-ho and former CEO Park Chan-hyuk.

In particular, Moon has deep relations with Choi. In 2022, when he was a rookie, he started his professional career with Choi Won-ho, then coach of the Futures (second tier) team. Since then, he has always been with Choi in the first tier team and has been able to take a step forward.

“As everyone knows, I didn’t have a good performance in April. I feel sorry to the coach,” Moon said. “It’s getting a little better. If I had done better sooner, it could have been a strength to the team. I learned a lot from the coach. I want to remember well and finish the season well,” he said.

Meanwhile, Moon recently had to experience another breakup. Right-handed foreign pitcher Felix Peña, who had built his special friendship, has been released. Peña has given a lot of advice for Moon.

“I am a neighbor of Peña. My mother brought me hanboks for my daughter,” Moon said. “I met Peña yesterday (27th) and delivered her hanboks and exchanged uniforms. Thank you so much and I will miss her a lot.” Peña is such a nice person and a cool older brother. I’m probably on a plane right now, but I want to thank my friend who is far away.”

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