Reporter Lee Sang-cheol = Korean baseball team’s flagship hitter Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes), who won the MVP and 5 crowns in the 2022 KBO League, and Japanese pitcher Sasaki Rocky (Chiba, who throws a fast ball of up to 165 km) Lotte Marines) was chosen as the ‘dream match’ that I want to see at the World Baseball Classic (WBC).
On the 5th (Korean time), MLB.com, the official site of the Major League Baseball (MLB), mentioned the confrontation between Lee Jung-hoo and Sasaki while selecting 12 dream matchups expected in the 2023 WBC.
MLB.com said, “The matchup between Lee Jeong-hoo and Sasaki is phenomenal and a showdown between big leaguers with great potential.”
The media said, “Lee Jeong-hoo won the MVP award last year in the KBO League with a batting average of 0.349, 23 home runs and 113 RBIs. After this season, he will advance to the major leagues through posting.” He is the best pitcher in the world. He throws a fast ball of 102 miles (about 164.2 km), and even achieved a perfect game in April of last year.”
Lee Jung-hoo is currently the best superstar in the KBO League. After entering the pro in 2017, he showed excellent batting ability every year and rose to the top spot. Lee Jeong-hoo, who even developed his insufficient slugging power, dominated five categories last year, including batting average, hits, RBIs, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Sasaki is Japan’s next-generation ace, and set the record for the youngest perfect game in Japanese professional baseball against the Orix Buffaloes in April last year. In a practice game against the Chunichi Dragons on the 4th, Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels) tied the Japanese record speed of 165km, which was set during the Nippon Ham Fighters days.
Young Guns Lee Jeong-hoo and Sasaki, who represent Korea and Japan, have been selected for the final roster of their respective national teams and are about to compete in the WBC for the first time as individuals. The team also has a lot of trust, so Lee Jeong-hoo will play as Korea’s central hitter and Sasaki will play as Japan’s starting pitcher.
Lee Jung-hoo and Sasaki have never had a pitching match in the national team uniform. Although Sasaki made his professional debut in 2021, he could not compete with Lee Jung-hoo because he could not compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics held that year. 스포츠토토
Korea and Japan are tied in Group B in the first round of the WBC, and will face off at the Tokyo Dome at 7:00 pm on the 10th. Contrary to MLB.com’s expectations, however, it seems unlikely that Lee Jung-hoo and Sasaki will meet in this game. According to Japanese media, Sasaki is expected to start against the Czech Republic on the 11th, which will be held the day after the Korean game.
Korea and Japan can clash again only when they rise side by side to the finals of the tournament. If the two teams meet in the finals like 14 years ago, it is expected that we will see the first confrontation between Lee Jung-hoo and Sasaki.
Meanwhile, MLB.com reports on the rest of the dream matchups: Mike Trout (USA) vs. Otani (Japan), Murakami Munetaka (Japan) vs. Edwin Diaz (Puerto Rico), Freddy Freeman (Canada) vs. Yamamoto Yoshinobu (Japan), Paul Gold. Schmidt (USA) vs. Sandy Alcantara (Dominican Republic), Mookie Betts (USA) vs. Julio Urias (Mexico), etc.
Bobby Witt Jr. (USA) vs. Julio Rodriguez (Dominican Republic), Ronald Acuña Jr. (Venezuela) vs. Juan Soto (Dominican Republic), Manny Machado (Dominican Republic) vs. Nolan Arenado (USA), Zander Bogatz (Netherlands) It also introduced interesting matchups such as Rafael Devers (Dominican Republic), Miguel Cabrera (Venezuela) vs. Alfredo Despaine (Cuba), and Adam Wainwright (USA) vs. Yadier Molina (Puerto Rico).