Kang Baek-ho (KT Wiz) and Ko Woo-seok (LG Twins), two of the KBO’s biggest stars, have been plagued by bad luck and injuries in every international tournament they’ve played in.
Kang Baek-ho was benched at the 2019 Premier12, his first international tournament since making his professional debut, and was criticised for his attitude at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
This year’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) 2023 against Australia, he threw cold water on the national team when he was called out for a ridiculous mistake at second base after hitting a double to left-centre, taking his foot off the base.
There are plenty of moments he’d rather forget, too.
In the eighth inning of a 2-2 tie against Japan at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, he made a base-covering error that could have ended the inning.
A shaky Go Woo-seok gave up a walk and a single to load the bases before giving up a run-scoring single.
He didn’t play a single game at the 2023 WBC after injuring his right shoulder in a practice game.
The jinxed duo were desperate to get back on track for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.
“I will show you a good performance from the first game,” said Kang Baek-ho when he arrived in Hangzhou, China, on the 28th of last month.
Ko Woo-seok also gritted his teeth after completing local training on the 30th of last month, saying, “I felt very sorry for (the fans) because of my performance in the international tournament, so I wanted to wash my face.”
But the international jinx has followed them to this tournament.
Kang went 0-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts against Hong Kong in the first game of Group B of the Hangzhou Asian Games at the Shaoxing Baseball and Softball Sports Centre on Monday near Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China.
He was held in check by pitchers at the level of domestic secondary school players who threw slow pitches around 100 kilometres per hour.
He struck out swinging with runners on first and second in the first inning and walked with runners on first and second in the third.
In the fourth, he struck out swinging with the bases loaded, and in the seventh, as the leadoff hitter, he struck out swinging.
In the second game of the group stage against ‘rivals’ Chinese Taipei at the same venue on the 2nd, Kang Baek-ho was unable to lift his head.
Team manager Ryu Jung-il kept the faith and sent Kang Baek-ho to bat in the top four, but he remained silent, going hitless in four at-bats with one strikeout.
He hit a grounder with two outs in the first inning and struck out with two outs in the third. With two outs in the eighth, he grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.
The Korean batting line-up struggled to get going as the No. 4 hitter threw cold water on every scoring opportunity.
On the day, Korea equalled Chinese Taipei (7) in team hits (6), but lost 0-4.
Ko Woo-seok once again had a terrible experience against Chinese Taipei.
He came on in the bottom of the eighth inning, trailing 0-2, and gave up a double and a ball hit to the body, then caught fire when he gave up a double to Lin Tzu-hao with runners on second and third.
With the score tied, the Koreans were unable to mount a comeback in their final at-bat in the bottom of the ninth. 토토사이트