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"Have you struck out a wagon?"

Samsung Lions pitcher Won Tae-in received a message from his former teammate David Buchanan (Philadelphia Phillies) after the end of the Seoul Series of the Major League Baseball (MLB). Buchanan said, "You seem to love Manny Machado (San Diego Padres) so much after striking out. I feel ashamed."

Won Tae-in, who was selected as Team Korea led by head coach Ryu Joong-il, took the mound as a relief pitcher and recorded three hits and three strikeouts in two innings in a warm-up match against San Diego at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 17th. In the third inning, when he was trailing 0-1, Machado, who boasted a total 11 years of $350 million (470.6 billion won), was struck out with a changeup. Jurickson Profar (direct ball) and Tyler Wade (changeup) also struck out swinging.

San Diego manager Mike Shildt said, "Won Tae-in pitched boldly. I heard Fernando Tatis Jr. said his changeup was really impressive."

Until last year, Samsung's native ace Won Tae-in had 41 wins and 40 losses with a 3.92 ERA in the KBO League. Since joining the team in 2019, he has pitched an average of 145 innings per year. During this period, he pitched the most innings as a Korean pitcher.

This exhibition game became a turning point in Won's baseball career. "Before, I only considered going to Japan. This made me think about challenging myself to the MLB. I gained a lot of confidence," he said.

In addition, Won Tae-in actively approached Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Tyler Glasnow at the youth baseball clinic on the 16th and received his know-how on curves. The scene where Won Tae-in was surprised by the size of Glasnow's hand was a hot topic.

How did he respond to Buchanan's teasing? He replied, "Have you ever struck out Machado?" He said he has not received an answer yet. There is no record of a match between the two players. "The Buchanan influenced me a lot in the process of my growth. That's why I called you to compliment you," Won said with a smile.

Buchanan, who has 54 wins and 28 losses and a 3.02 ERA with Samsung over the past four years, challenged MLB, but has been relegated to the minor leagues after a slump in exhibition games.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2024
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