March 07, 2023 10:31
Korea lost 4-2 in an exhibition game against Japanese club Orix Buffaloes in Osaka, Japan on Monday, ahead of the World Baseball Classic.
It was a disappointing game for Korea, which was scoreless off six hits through the eighth inning before scoring two runs from three hits and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Korea was hoping for a good performance from its strong centerline -- the catcher, second baseman, shortstop and center fielder -- in the first pre-WBC exhibition game in which major league players were allowed to play.
Korea's centerline has been touted as a match for those of strong teams like Japan and the U.S. thanks to the presence of Kim Ha-seong of the San Diego Padres and Tommy Edman of the St. Louis Cardinals, who played together for Korea for the first time.
Edman showed off great range and good judgment on the ball in Monday's game.
Kim started as the third baseman and moved to the shortstop position in the sixth inning, where he made an error but showed confidence in a key defensive role.
Kim said he is comfortable playing in any position -- at third base, shortstop or second base -- and fielding with Edman. "As Edman is a great player, we can play like bread and butter."
Edman and Kim also have important offensive roles though neither made a major contribution in Monday's game. Edman, who went zero-for-four and was struck out once as the leadoff hitter, said Japanese pitchers throw a lot of off-speed pitches. "But it didn't seem too different from what I've seen so far in spring training this year. I don't think it will be too big of an adjustment," he said.
Kim went one-for-four as the second hitter.
The WBC tournament will be held in different venues in Japan, Taiwan and the U.S. from March 8 to 21.
Korea is grouped with Australia, China, the Czech Republic and Japan. It will face Australia on March 9, Japan on March 10, the Czech Republic on March 12 and China on March 13 at Tokyo Dome.
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