Doosan’s undefeated record, the first record ever

Doosan won 2-0 in the exhibition game against Hanwha in Daejeon on the 18th and won all eight games. Doosan, which secured joint first place with its victory over Munhak SSG the previous day (17th), confirmed its sole first place in the exhibition game regardless of the last game against Hanwha on the 19th.

Doosan’s No. 1 ranking in exhibition games is the sixth in 10 years after 1983 (4 wins and 1 loss winning rate of .800), 1990 (3 wins and 1 loss winning rate of .750, joint 1st place), 1994 (5 wins and 1 loss winning rate of .833), 2000 (6 wins, 3 losses and 1 draw in Dream League), and 2014 (4 wins and 2 losses and 5 draws of .667).

There is no guarantee that the exhibition game results will continue throughout the regular season, but it is noteworthy that the team has overwhelmed the team by winning all eight games and posting no losses. As the team ranks first in both ERA (2.50) and batting average (.279), the team has good pitching and hitting balance.

The KBO exhibition games, which first began in 1983, were held a total of 40 times until last year except during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Among them, Lotte (5 wins and 1 draw) topped the list with no loss, and Hanwha (5 wins) in 1999. Lotte ended the season with the runner-up in the Korean Series in 1995, and Hanwha won the Korean Series in 1999. 안전놀이터

In 1995, the winning rate was 9-117 percent since the draw was not abandoned in the calculation of the winning rate, but one draw was added to 0.5 wins and 0.5 losses, respectively, and the winning rate was divided into the number of games. Hanwha was the only team that won 100 percent of the exhibition games in 1999, and if Doosan wins or ties the game on the 19th, it will become the No. 1 team with the most wins and no losses in history.

Of course, an exhibition game is just an exhibition game, and it is hard to give too much meaning to the exhibition game. However, a team that tops the exhibition games won the Korean Series in seven times including Haitai in 1987, Lotte in 1992, Lotte in 1993, Hyundai in 1998, Hanwha in 1999, Samsung in 2002, and SK in 2007. The probability of a team that tops the exhibition games (including a tie) to advance to the post season is also high at 60.0 percent (12/20).

“There was not a single game that I wanted to win. Players took turns in order, and the main players took a rest after hitting two or three at-bats for the game as planned,” Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said. “In general, players seem to have upped their pace fast. The players seem to have prepared well not to miss this opportunity (in exhibition games with limited number of at-bats and innings).”

Catcher Yang Eui-ji, who led the team to victory with consecutive at-bats against Hanwha on the day, also said, “The entire team has worked hard since the Australian spring camp. As for the batting side, both the coach and the coach trained a lot because they know that it wasn’t good last year. I gained a lot of confidence. As I boldly swung at the batter’s box, I got good results and I think I got a lot of points.”

Kim Jae-hwan, who has been sluggish for the past two years, is showing signs of revival with a batting average of 412 (seven hits in 17 at-bats) with one homer, six RBIs, six walks, five strikeouts, and an OPS of 1.271. “I think I’m ready for a perfect season,” coach Lee Seung-yeop also said of Kim Jae-hwan. “I hope we can do all the things that we haven’t done for two years in 2024,” adding, “Before, the direction of the ball was concentrated on the right side, but now it comes out as a home run or a hit in front of the center.” Due to the limitation of defensive shift, a hit that would have been grounded last year is becoming a hit. I think everything will be a positive factor for Kim Jae-hwan.”

Young pitchers such as Kim Taek-yeon, a top rookie, Kim Dong-ju, who has confirmed his fifth starting pitcher, Park Shin-ji, Park Jung-soo, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Min-kyu and Choi Jong-in are showing rapid growth as well. Yang Eui-ji said, “I got better because Coach Cho Woong-cheon came. I played (battery) with young pitchers a lot during exhibition games, and my skills have improved and my pitches have diversified. I get surprised because I have many friends who have improved. As I throw boldly and fearlessly, I don’t get many walks.” Doosan also allowed the fewest walks (2.6) per nine innings in exhibition games.

Doosan, which spent the “Dynasties” era by advancing to the Korean Series for seven consecutive years from 2015 to 2021, fell to ninth place in 2022. Last year, when Lee Seung-yeop took charge, he played a pull-up in the fall baseball league as fifth place, but it seemed that it would take a little longer to revive the dynasty. This year, the view of mid-range power was dominant before the start of the exhibition game, but Doosan is being evaluated by winning all eight games. On the 12th, the early days of the exhibition game, SSG coach Lee Sung-yong said, “We are looking at LG, KT, and KIA as the three strongest teams this year, and I think Doosan will be strong. I think I’m a candidate for the championship,” but since then, he has won five more games, putting weight on his remarks.

It is positive that the team can continue to win exhibition games and thus start the season on a good note. Yang Eui-ji also said, “If the exhibition game is not good, I start the season on a shaky ground. If players play in a good condition, they can feel more comfortable in playing in the opening game. Just because you rank No. 1 in the exhibition game, you can do well now and continue to do well. It is good to do well consistently.”

Doosan will aim for the first nine-game winning finale in exhibition games with right-hander Kim Min-kyu as the starting pitcher against Hanwha on the 19th.

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