Fireballers go head-to-head. The future of Korean baseball is on the line.
The Hanwha Eagles and KIA Tigers will meet for the sixth time in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Friday. Hanwha will start the game with Moon Dong-ju on the mound. KIA will send Lee Yi-ri to the mound as they look to clinch the winning series with a second straight victory.
Moon and Lee are the future and present of Korean baseball. Both pitchers are “fireballers” with hard-hitting fastballs, so the matchup will be interesting. Moon Dong-ju has made KBO history. After graduating from Gwangju Jinheung High School and joining Hanwha in the first round of the 2022 draft, Moon continued to improve his velocity and became the first Korean to reach 160 mph.메이저놀이터
In his rookie season, he missed a lot of games due to injury, but this year he has been a consistent part of the starting rotation. He started all seven games and pitched 34 innings. He has a solid 2-4 record with a 4.50 ERA.
Lee Yi-ri is also a left-handed fireballer with a top speed of over 150km/h. Lee joined the Tiger Army in the first round of the 2021 draft after graduating from Gwangju First High School, where he went 4-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 19 games in his rookie year, winning the Rookie of the Year title. His sophomore season was even better, with a 10-10 record and a 3.86 ERA in 29 games.
This year, Lee has been a starter for the Tigers. In eight games, he’s 3-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 38 1/3 innings. While his pitches have been erratic, he has pitched a Quality Start Plus (7 innings of 3 earned runs or less in a start) in his most recent outing. In his last start against the Gwangju Kiwoom on April 19, Lee threw seven innings, allowing one run on two hits and two walks while striking out nine. He lived up to his name.
This is the first time Moon and Lee have faced each other. Moon is a right-handed fireballer and Lee is a left-handed fastball pitcher, both from Gwangju, South Korea. The series rests on their shoulders.