Pinch hitter Kim Kang-min (41) took the catcher’s at-bat in the bottom of the 9th inning. Following the first game, SSG Landers’ strategy was the same in the second game, and the result was the same, adding one out both times. The miracle equation that made it possible to win the Korean Series last year forced SSG to face the reality of its failure to develop hitters.
SSG was pushed to the brink by losing 3-7 to NC in the second game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League postseason semi-playoff (semi-PO, best of 5 games) held at Incheon SSG Landers Field located in Michuhol-gu, Incheon on the 23rd. .
It was a complicated game from the start. The importance of scoring the first run was emphasized before the game, but starting pitcher Gwang-Hyun Kim was battered from the first inning, giving up 4 runs in two innings and being kicked out before the start of the 4th inning. Fortunately, second pitcher Seung-won Moon pitched 4 scoreless innings and Hanyu Island scored 3 runs with consecutive home runs, and the tight game with a 1-run lead continued until the 7th inning. It was disappointing for SSG that no score was expected in other at-bats. After Hanyu Island’s first home run in the 4th inning, the only refreshing hits were Choi Joo-hwan’s hit to right-center field in the 5th inning and Park Seong-han’s double to the right-field line in the 6th. Other than that, Ha Jae-hoon only raised expectations a few times with long-distance foul balls.
There was a possibility that a pinch-hitting card would come out to change the frustrating trend, but the game went to the end without a replacement. In the end, SSG’s momentum was broken by Kim Hyeong-jun’s thunderous solo shot in the 8th inning. After that, 2 more runs were given, and in the bottom of the 9th inning, when the atmosphere was over, Kim Kang-min came to the plate as catcher as he had the previous day, and the game ended in SSG’s defeat without any change in the mood.
After the game, coach Kim Won-hyung was asked about the use of a pinch hitter and expressed his belief, “I don’t think it was passive. The players who started were the best, and if it hadn’t been for the 3 runs in the 8th inning, I think that lineup would have been enough.”
It wasn’t wrong. For two days in a row, no points were scored through timely hitting, but the score difference was only 1 point, and the starting lineup that day was the main player that made SSG’s 3rd place possible, excluding Choi Ji-hoon, who was excluded due to poor batting. The batting quality wasn’t too bad, and the probability of the starting players creating a hitting event was greater than the probability of the bench players coming out as pinch hitters and producing a hit.
It was not impossible to understand the expectations placed on Kim Kang-min, a veteran with a lot of experience in big games. Last year, Kim Kang-min turned the situation around with two home runs at the same place, leading SSG to its first win under the name. I have good memories of a dramatic tiebreaker in the bottom of the 9th inning in Game 1 of the Korean Series against the Kiwoom Heroes, and a come-from-behind victory in Game 5 with the first pinch-hit three-run game in the Korean Series.
Expecting a turnaround for Kim Kang-min in 2023, who recorded a regular season batting average of 0.098 (4 hits in 41 at-bats) since September, was almost a fluke. This is a bittersweet point for SSG. The other eight fielders on the bench were less trusted by the manager and coaching staff than the 41-year-old. Even Oh Tae-gon and Choi Ji-hoon, who played as starters, were expected to be included in the starting lineup the previous day, but they combined for only 1 hit in 7 at bats, and in the end, Kim Kang-min had no choice but to come in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 9th inning for two days in a row.
The presence of pinch hitter Kim Kang-min in the bottom of the 9th inning means that SSG’s development of hitters is sluggish. The SSG postseason fielder lineup has not changed much over the past two years. The starting nine players were the same except for the foreign batters, and the bench members were changed from Choi Kyung-mo and Jeon Eui-san to Kim Chan-hyung, Kang Jin-seong, and Choi Sang-min. There was no significant growth. Park Seong-han and Choi Ji-hoon, who were expected to be one of the few starting players in their 20s in a field field full of people in their 30s, performed poorly, and prospect Jeon Eui-san was excluded from the semi-playoff entry due to a contact problem.
After confirming the cold reality, SSG hopes for a probability of 14.3% (2 out of 14) in Changwon after a day’s rest. In the past 14 KBO semi-playoffs held in a best-of-five format, only the Doosan Bears have advanced to the playoffs with ‘2 losses and 3 consecutive wins’ twice: against the Lotte Giants in 2010 and against the Nexen Heroes (now Kiwoom Heroes) in 2013. I did it.짱구카지노 도메인