“The stress of having to cut alone”…a terrible slump, but the ‘Captain’ couldn’t give up

“I had a slump and I was honestly stressed out, but I never thought I shouldn’t captain the team. It’s an honor to be one of the 10 best players in Korea in baseball.”

Doosan Bears captain Yang Seok-hwan (33) is all smiles after finally breaking out of a long slump. Yang started at first base in the sixth spot in the lineup and went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the Bears’ 5-2 win over the LG Twins in the second game of the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on Wednesday.

It’s been a tough time for Yang as he hasn’t been able to get a hit. Yang was in a severe hitting slump, going hitless in six consecutive games from June 6 against the Sasik Lotte Giants to June 12 against the Jamsil LG Electronics. He went hitless in 16 at-bats and drew six walks.

In the end, Yang opted to study for the rest of the season. After the game against the Hanwha Eagles in Jamsil on Nov. 11, he tried to get rid of his frustration by organizing a night special. Hitting coaches Kim Han-soo and Lee Young-soo, as well as operations coach Goto Koji, all experts in hitting instruction, watched him and helped him get out of his slump quickly.

Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop watched Yang and said, “I think he took responsibility as a captain. I think he was thinking about the team atmosphere and everything because he’s not doing well, and he must be frustrated. The team is not performing well right now, and he himself is not hitting too well, and yesterday (Nov. 11 against Hanwha), he actually hit a walk-off hit in a crucial situation. I think he feels sorry for the team and wants to get out of the slump as soon as possible.” He hoped that he would be able to overcome the crisis as well as he tried.

Yang Seok-hwan showed signs of resurgence in his first at-bat, hitting a long ball. In the bottom of the second inning, after Kang Seung-ho led off with a single to right-center, Yang doubled to left-center field to put runners on second and third with one out. It was a very positive at-bat, even if it didn’t lead to a run as the follow-up hit didn’t come through.

When Doosan needed an extra run, Yang Seok-hwan’s bat came alive once again. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. With runners on first and third, Kang Seung-ho hit a two-run double to left center to make it 3-1. Yang Seok-hwan extended the lead to 5-1 with a two-run double to deep left-center field. After sliding into second base, Yang savored the moment by celebrating his hit with a celebratory celebration.

After the game, Yang said, “I was in a slump from the start, so I was honestly a little stressed. Even the best seasons have one or two slumps, but it was a bit difficult from the start,” he admitted.

As the team’s leader and captain, he felt more sorry for the team. “It’s not an easy position,” Yang said. (Oh) Ji-hwan’s brother also led the team to the championship last year (as LG captain), but I think he must have felt the same amount of pressure and hardship, and I think I also empathized with him a little bit, thinking about what kind of pressure and hardship he felt as a captain, and how he had to put it down.”

“To be honest, when your individual performance is good, you can see the team, and you can take care of it more. But once you have a bad personal performance, you can’t show it much when you are the captain of the team. There’s a lot of stress that you can’t express and you have to cut yourself,” he added.

However, Yang had no intention of dropping the captaincy, saying, “It’s my first year, so I don’t feel too much pressure to captain, because my personal performance is not so good, but I try not to show my personal performance on the baseball field. It never crossed my mind that I shouldn’t captain. In 카지노사이트 fact, I don’t know when I’m going to do it. There are only 10 people in Korea in professional baseball, and that’s an honor, so I don’t think I thought about that.”

It helped that he made special at-bats and tried to find a breakthrough on his own. “Actually, I was feeling really bad personally until yesterday (Dec. 12), but I had a lot of conversations with Coach Lee Young-soo and the hitting coaches, and before today’s game, I was doing long tee training and I just felt something. When I was originally bad last year, I rebounded a little bit when I felt something positive, so I had a little bit of that feeling, so I told the players, ‘We’re going to go up from today,’ and I think it worked out well,” he smiled.

During his slump, he also tried out his own pre-game ritual for the first time to boost team morale. “I actually made the gimmick and couldn’t do it, and I couldn’t do it at home, so I actually made it, but I felt a little bad, but I think I was able to do it in a good mood,” Yang said.

Regarding the victory, Yang Seok-hwan said, “I think it’s something that all the players felt even if we didn’t talk about it, because there were some things that didn’t go well in the beginning as a team. Especially since it was LG Electronics, our rival, and we lost again yesterday, I think the players thought that the losing streak shouldn’t be longer.” He expressed his satisfaction at ending his slump and losing streak at the same time.


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