Yang Eui-ji (36), the homemaker of the Doosan Bears, continues to wear a catcher’s mask despite her poor physical condition. Even so, the skills are still the same.메이저도메인
Yang Eui-ji started as the team’s fourth hitter and catcher in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO league away game against the Lotte Giants held at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan on the 1st.
Yang Eui-ji, who also played in the game the previous day, was replaced with Jang Seung-hyeon (29) before going on defense at the end of the 9th inning. He felt some discomfort in his lower back and went back to the bench for protection. Before the game on the 1st, Doosan coach Lee Seung-yeop (47) explained, “I felt a little bad (my back) during the game, and at the end it was a little difficult, so I had a game today (the 1st), and if I overdo it, I thought it would be a hindrance until today, so I replaced it.”
Yang Eui-ji, who played in the game even in a bad physical condition, played a big role in the ball and defense. At the beginning of the first inning, Doosan took a chance to score with Yang Seok-hwan’s hit to left field at number 3. After that, he appeared as the next batter and hit a double over the right fielder against Lotte starter Charlie Barnes, bringing Yang Seok-hwan home. It was the moment when Doosan, who had not scored a single point the day before, took the lead.
Yang Eui-ji added another hit that rolled toward the center fielder after being hit by the shortstop in the top of the 4th inning. In the third at-bat in the sixth inning, he struck out, but in the ninth, he came out as the lead batter and walked out. Although the next hitter Kim Jae-hwan broke the chance with a double hit, Yang Eui-ji steadily created scoring opportunities.
However, Eui-ji Yang’s true value came from the last defense at the end of the 9th inning. Doosan, which was leading 2-0, tried to close the game with closer Hong Kun-hee. However, Hong Kun-hee, who got one out, was chased by one point with three consecutive hits from Han Dong-hee, Park Seung-wook, and Yoo Kang-nam. Then, coach Lee, who predicted an ‘all-out war’, boldly took Hong Kun-hee down in the situation of 1 company, 1st and 2nd base, and set-up man Jeong Cheol-won to the mound.
Jeong Cheol-won struck out on a swing against the first batter, Kim Min-seok, after a game that went up to 7 pitches. Then, against No. 1 Koh Seung-min, he also got an advantageous ball count of 0 ball and 2 strikes, and he threw a forkball as the third pitch, which led to a wild throw and suddenly created a second and third base situation. At the moment of crisis, Jeong Cheol-won boldly threw another forkball. Again, he came in the bound, but this time, Yang Eui-ji blew his body to block it, preventing the runner from advancing.
After a full count, Jung Cheol-won eventually struck out Go Seung-min on a swing. The falling forkball worked well this time as well. Jeong Cheol-won said, “I threw it like that because I trusted (Yang) Eui-ji hyung that I was able to plug it in the same way even after I plugged it into the floor once.”
Right-hander Kwak Bin, who worked with Eui-ji Yang as the starting pitcher that day, also said, “I am really grateful to be able to work with the best catcher in Korea.” He continued, “I hope that our team will follow what he did for the team even though he was sick.”
After the match, Eui-ji Yang said, “I know that the fans are very worried about the condition of their backs.” He said, “I think the only way to repay that support and concern is to somehow help the team win by playing in many games.”
Ahead of this season, Yang Eui-ji, who returned to Doosan through a free agent (FA) contract worth up to 15.2 billion won in 4+2 years, is still showing his skills even at the age of 36. As of the 1st, he is recording a season batting average of 0.321, 7 homers, 36 RBIs, 5 steals, and an OPS of 0.900. He showed off his good batting sense from the beginning, and he is doing his part while keeping in sync with his Doosan players.
Yang Eui-ji suffered from a minor injury during his last two years (2021-2022) at the NC Dinos. In 2021, he won the Golden Glove as a designated hitter rather than a catcher. In this regard, Doosan is considering Yang Eui-ji as much as possible. Appearing in 68 games this season, he played 53 games and 422 innings as a catcher. This ranks 7th out of 10 clubs’ starting catchers. Even so, Doosan is managing him through designated hitters instead of complete rest.메이저사이트
Director Lee said, “Actually, I was overdoing it. When I wasn’t playing catcher, I went out as designated hitter.” did. Coach Lee said, “The secret to pitchers’ ability to block well is, of course, the power of Yang Eui-ji.”
Yang Eui-ji is playing the game with back pain to the extent that even the command tower admits that it was overdoing it. However, he is so active that you can’t feel it at all in the game. He is also proving that he is the ‘best catcher’.