S. Korean reliever looking to keep Australian hitters in the park

OSAKA, Japan, In preparing for the World Baseball Classic (WBC), South Korean reliever Go Woo-suk has been watching a ton of film on hitters for Australia, South Korea’s first opponent coming up on Thursday in Tokyo — to the point that Go has figured out their general tendencies.

“I noticed that they usually take big cuts and try to get the ball in the air,” Go said after South Korea’s first practice in Osaka on Sunday, the eve of the team’s exhibition game against the Orix Buffaloes. “In any situation, you have to be careful against big flies and extra-base hits, and try to keep other guys from getting on base. I think I should have a better feel for them once we get into the game Thursday.”


Go, who led the Korea Baseball Organization with 42 saves last year for the LG Twins, is a strong candidate to handle the ninth-inning duties at the WBC. He will be leaning on a much-improved slider in high-leverage situations.


“I thought my slider was a really good pitch a couple of years ago, but looking back on it now, it was almost embarrassing,” Go said. “Now, I can pair it with my fastball to get guys out. But I’d still like to improve my command and break of that pitch.”

South Korea is eyeing a trip to at least the final eight at this year’s WBC, after getting knocked out of the first round at each of the two previous iterations in 2013 and 2017. Go himself is on a personal redemption tour, too, as his defensive miscue and subpar pitching proved costly in the Olympic semifinals against Japan two years ago.


Go insisted he is not going to dwell on his past and will not look past the first game versus Australia. The Korea-Japan showdown is Friday evening at Tokyo Dome.


“We’re not here just for that one game (against Japan),” Go said. “We’re only thinking about getting the last laugh. When I take the mound, I want to do the best I can, no matter what the circumstances are, and show hitters everything I have in my arsenal.”


Source: Yonhap News Agency

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