A rainy break of 1 hour and 10 minutes changed the game. The LG Twins have won three games in a row, solidifying their dominance in first place.
In the first game of the doubleheader against SSG Landers held in Jamsil on the 17th, LG scored 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning, which was resumed after a rainout, and won 8 to 3.
LG, which had won three games in a row, ranked first with 73 wins, 2 draws, and 47 losses, with a winning percentage of 60.8%, and the only team with a winning percentage in the 600% range. On this day, they maintained their 6-game lead over second-place KT Wiz, who won the first game of the doubleheader against the Hanwha Eagles.
On the other hand, SSG had no choice but to drop ace Kim Gwang-hyun, who had only 79 pitches due to the rain’s grumpiness, and the bullpen was unable to block LG’s batting line, ultimately falling to their fourth consecutive loss. Doosan Bears, a top 5 competitor, won against KIA Tigers, with Doosan rising to 4th place and KIA 5th, while SSG fell to 6th place, tied with KIA.
The atmosphere of the two teams ahead of the double header on this day was completely different.
In fact, the mood of LG’s players was unknown. This is because players rarely came to the ground during training hours. At 11:30 a.m., LG’s training time, the batting cage, infield, and outfield were empty. Occasionally pitchers would come out and play catch, but there were no players or coaching staff. The start time was set at 12:30 p.m. so that players who played the night before could get enough rest before appearing in the double header game.
On this day, LG played in the first game of the double header: Hong Chang-gi (right fielder) – Shin Min-jae (second baseman) – Kim Hyun-soo (designated hitter) – Austin (first baseman) – Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop) – Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman) – Park Dong-won (catcher) – Moon Seong-ju (left fielder) -Comprised of the best lineup including Park Hae-min (center fielder). LG coach Yeom Kyeong-yeop said before the game, “Most of the starting players will play in Game 2 as well. I think only the catcher will change. We don’t have a game until Thursday this week, so the players don’t have any physical difficulties. If we have a doubleheader today, it will be okay because we have another break tomorrow.” “It’s the same,” he said. Since they were tired from playing the evening game in the rain the previous day and had to play two games that day, there was no need to de-energize before the game, so the players were told to postpone their work time and not train.
On the other hand, SSG arrived at Jamsil Stadium normally and prepared for the first game of the doubleheader with most of the batters, including veteran Choo Shin-soo, practicing batting in the batting cage. SSG is Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter) – Choi Ji-hoon (center fielder) – Choi Jeong (third baseman) – Heredia (left fielder) – Park Seong-han (shortstop) – Han Yu-seom (right fielder) – Choi Joo-han (first baseman) – Kim Seong-hyun (second baseman) – Cho Hyeong-woo ( Catcher) formed the lineup for Game 1.
The first match of the day is a match between LG Lee Jeong-yong and SSG Kim Gwang-hyeon.
Lee Jeong-yong is LG’s domestic ace in the second half of the season. He has pitched 5 or more innings in all 5 games since August, with 4 wins, no losses, and an earned run average of 1.55. The team also won all five games in which Lee Jeong-yong appeared. It can truly be called a ‘victory fairy’.
Lee Jeong-yong had never pitched as a starter, but when he switched to the starting role, he threw a forkball again, which he had not thrown before, and learned a curveball from Lim Chan-gyu and included it in his pitches, becoming a new pitcher. He gradually increased his pitch count and went through trial and error, but he became a solid starting pitcher in the second half of the season and has now been upgraded to an ace.
He pitched in two games before SSG, but both times as a bullpen pitcher. This is my first time as a starter.
Contrary to Lee Jeong-yong, Kim Gwang-hyun has been unlucky since August. He has 1 win, 5 losses, and an average ERA of 3.80 in 8 games. There are 5 quality starts, but no luck.
In his previous appearance, against Incheon KT Wiz on the 12th, he allowed 1 run in 6 innings, but the team was unable to score even 1 run, losing 0 to 3 and becoming the losing pitcher.
Against LG, he appeared in 3 games and was not very good, with 1 win and 1 loss and an average ERA of 6.48. In the Jamsil game on April 27, he allowed 6 hits (1 home run) and 3 runs in 4 innings, but failed to record a win or loss. In the Jamsil game on July 21, he gave up 7 hits and 4 runs in 6 innings, but the team won 6 to 4 and was named the winning pitcher. It went up. On the 19th of last month, Incheon Gyeonggi lost, allowing 8 hits and 5 runs in 6⅔ innings.
In the top of the first inning, SSG scored first thanks to LG’s poor defense. First baseman Austin Dean was unable to properly catch No. 1 Choo Shin-soo’s strike ball towards first base, and Austin’s hastily caught throw to first base fell backwards. Then, No. 2 Choi Ji-hoon hit a line drive to the second baseman, and No. 3 Choi Jeong retired with a fly to center field, resulting in two outs. However, No. 4 Heredia’s hit inside the right field line to Tagua made it 1st and 3rd base. At this time, the ball that right fielder Hong Chang-gi threw to the second baseman went in the wrong direction and the third baseman came out and caught it, and in the meantime, Heredia ran to second base and made a save.
With 2 outs and 2nd and 3rd bases, No. 5 Park Seong-han hit a clean 2-RBI hit to right, making it 2-0. No. 6 Hanyu Island hit a double to left, leading to an additional scoring opportunity with 2 outs and 2nd and 3rd bases, but Choi Joo-hwan retired with a fly to left field.
LG also scored its first goal through a ridiculous mistake. In the bottom of the second inning, No. 5 Oh Ji-hwan walked and got on base, and after two outs, Park Dong-won advanced to second base with a wild pitch during his at-bat. And Park Dong-won’s usual ground ball to third baseman came out. Third baseman Choi Jeong caught it and threw it leisurely, but as it bounced one bounce, the direction was deflected to the side. First baseman Choi Joo-hwan managed to catch it, but his foot left the base and Park Dong-won made a save. At this time, Oh Ji-hwan, who had reached third base, ran home, and Choi Joo-hwan threw home, but Oh Ji-hwan had already stepped on home. It was literally a free score without a single hit.
In the top of the 4th inning, SSG had an opportunity to score additional points. With one out and a walk by leader Han Yu-seom, and a walk by No. 8 Kim Seong-hyun, they had a chance to get to first and second base. When No. 9 Cho Hyeong-woo’s ground ball to the shortstop was flat, Oh Ji-hwan made a ridiculous mistake of dropping the ball while trying to make a double play, resulting in the bases being loaded with one out.
However, Choo Shin-soo’s hit hit the first baseman and he threw it home first, resulting in two outs. Choi Ji-hoon’s batted ball at number 2 also went to first base, and Austin stepped on first base and failed to score.
Austin, who had prevented a run in the top of the fourth inning, tied the score. With one out in the bottom of the 4th inning, he hit Gwang-Hyun Kim’s 137km slider low on the first pitch and fired a solo shot that went over the center fence to tie the game. With his 19th hit of the season, he left only 1 home run out of 20 home runs.
But the 2-2 tie didn’t last long. In the top of the 5th inning, SSG advanced to 1st and 3rd base on leadoff leader Choi Jeong’s double along the left field line and Hanyu Seom’s infield hit with 2 outs, then took a 3-2 lead again with Choi Joo-hwan’s timely hit.
Jeong-Yong Lee recorded 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout, and 3 runs (1 earned) through the 5th inning. The number of pitches (95) is the most since his debut. He threw 43 fastballs with a maximum distance of 145 km, 29 forkballs, 16 sliders, and 7 curves.
Yoo Young-chan came up in the top of the 6th inning and eliminated Jo Hyeong-woo, Choo Shin-soo, and Choi Ji-hoon with 7 balls.
The game, which continued with light rain, was eventually halted in the bottom of the sixth inning as the rain intensified. Before Shin Min-jae’s at-bat for the lead, there was discussion of stopping the game for a while, but it continued and Shin Min-jae got on base with a hit to right on the first pitch. As the rain became stronger during Kim Hyun-soo’s at-bat at first base with no outs, the game was eventually stopped and a tarp was spread on the ground. 3:47 PM. This is when Gwang-Hyun Kim threw 79 balls.
At around 4:20 p.m., the rain had almost subsided and preparations began for the game to resume amid the cheers of fans who had waited in the rain. After nearly 40 minutes of maintenance, including removing water accumulated on the ground with a sponge, the game resumed at 4:57 p.m., 1 hour and 10 minutes later.
Bottom of 6th inning, no outs, 1st base. The game resumed with Kim Hyun-soo at bat. And Noh Kyung-eun went up to the mound. Kim Gwang-hyun, who was in the middle of ground maintenance, checked the condition of his shoulder by playing catch in front of the dugout around 4:40 p.m. He had a strong desire to pitch himself, but the coaching staff dissuaded him, so he ended up being replaced.
The game, which resumed with the sun shining, changed as much as the weather. Shin Min-jae’s stolen second base hit the catcher’s throw to center field, putting the team on third base with no outs, and Kim Hyun-soo’s double along the right-field line immediately tied the score at 3-3.
The runner given up by Gwang-Hyun Kim scored a run, and Gwang-Hyun Kim recorded 4 hits (1 home run), 1 walk, 6 strikeouts, and 3 runs (2 earned runs) in 5 innings. The score was tied, and the opportunity for victory was lost. Of the 79, 25 were fastballs with a maximum distance of 150 km, or 31.6%. Sliders were the most with 30, followed by curves with 15 and forkballs with 9.
A chance to reach second base with no outs. LG decided that even though it was the bottom of the 6th inning, it was a game-winner, so they removed runner Kim Hyun-soo on second base and used pinch runner Choi Seung-min. When No. 4 Austin’s fly to center field and No. 5 Oh Ji-hwan’s grounder to first base seemed like a comeback, Moon Bo-kyung hit a single to left, ultimately leading to a comeback, 4-3
Immediately after, No. 7 Park Dong-won hit the first pitch and it flew high. I thought the inning was over, but it wasn’t. It was a ‘lucky hit’ that none of the center fielders, right fielders, and second basemen could catch. Meanwhile, first base runner Bo-Kyung Moon ran all the way to home and made a save. Unfortunately, center fielder Choi Ji-hoon and second baseman Kim Seong-hyun, who were running to catch the ball, collided, and Choi Ji-hoon was replaced by Ha Jae-hoon.
From the 7th inning, it was a battle to protect LG’s bullpen and steal points from SSG’s batters. In the top of the 7th inning, LG’s Park Myung-geun gained momentum by easily catching SSG’s main hitter Choi Jeong and Heredia’s Park Seong-han with a three-way throw.
But the top of the 8th inning was different. After hitting a hit to right-center against Kim Jin-seong, who replaced No. 6 Hanyu Island, Choi Joo-hwan walked. No outs, 1st and 2nd bases. Choi Sang-min at second base and Oh Tae-gon at first base were replaced as pinch runners.
Number 8 Kim Seong prepared a sacrifice bunt and before he knew it, three balls came in a row. The fourth pitch is a strike. On the 5th pitch, Seong-Hyun Kim hit a perfect sacrifice bunt toward 3rd base, making 2nd and 3rd bases with one out.
LG’s biggest crisis. Of course, the best pitcher came up.
Closer Ko Woo-seok came up, and pinch hitter Kim Kang-min스포츠토토, a veteran among veterans, stepped up to bat at number 9 for Jo Hyeong-woo. It was only a direct ball game. Catcher Park Dong-won did not sit inside or outside, but sat in the middle and only asked for fastballs. In 1B2S, Go Woo-seok struck out with a missed swing with a 155 km high fastball thrown with all his might. It was also a fastball match with No. 1 Choo Shin-soo. Choo Shin-soo hit a 155km fastball on the fifth pitch in 3B1S, but it flew straight in front of the center fielder and was caught. It was the highlight of the day’s game.
It was an addition after the crisis. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Moon Bo-kyung singled and stole base with 2 outs and runners on second base, then Park Dong-won added 1 run with a timely hit to left to make it 6-3. This was followed by Moon Seong-joo’s double to the left field line and Park Hae-min’s left-field hit, adding two more runs to make it 8-3. LG’s mound with Go Woo-seok was too much stability.
Go Woo-seok closed out the top of the 9th inning and made 14 saves. Yoo Young-chan, who came on in the top of the 6th inning, earned his 6th win of the season.
After the first game, LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop said, “In the 6th inning, Shin Min-jae’s good base running, Kim Hyun-soo’s tying hit, and Moon Bo-kyung’s winning hit in a critical situation helped set the overall trend, and Park Dong-won’s lucky hit scored an additional run, giving us the win. “We were able to bring the energy to our side,” he said. “Starter Lee Jeong-yong played his role as a starter well, overcoming many crises well, and Park Myung-geun and Ko Woo-seok, who were part of the winning team, played a good baseball. In particular, Go Woo-seok had 5 outs, but he played cleanly. “I would like to wrap things up and praise him as the most decorated player today,” he said.
He continued, “It was a difficult game with rainy weather, but I would like to praise the players who showed concentration until the end, and I would like to thank the fans who cheered hard with us.”