The aftermath of a 267-minute battle. The starting pitcher’s shoulders were heavy. The moment the balance was broken, the manager made a decisive decision.
The ninth game of the season between the Kiwoom Heroes and the LG Twins at Gocheok Sky Dome on the 8th. Unexpectedly, the Kiwoom bats exploded onto the field and destroyed the LG mound with a 13-0 victory.
Fatigue was evident on the faces of both managers as they met before the game. This was the after-effect of the 12-inning extra-inning draw the day before. Both teams had used up most of their pitching staffs, and the outfielders were also tired. The game depended on the two starting pitchers, who were the only ones who had gotten enough rest the day before.
LG’s Kim Yun-sik stumbled in the first inning. He was hit by four straight singles from Kim Jun-wan, Kim Hye-sung, and Lee Jung-hoo Russell to start the game. Lee Jung-hoo, in particular, blasted a two-run double to left-center field as a testament to his peak hitting form. He became the 110th player in KBO history to reach 500 hits. Kiwoom scored three runs in the first inning on Lee Hyung-jong’s sacrifice fly.
The Kiwoom bats came alive again in the bottom of the fourth inning. Leadoff hitter Lee Ji-young was hit by a pitch, and Kim Soo-hwan, the hero of the previous day’s tying two-run homer, followed with an RBI double down the right field line. Three consecutive singles by Kim Hye-sung, Lee Jung-hoo, and Russell followed, and the scoreboard read “7” in a flash.
On the day, Kim gave up seven runs on 12 hits in five innings, but none of them were walks or balls in play. His fastball topped out at 144 kilometers, and he had a good strike (60) to ball (26) ratio. Commentator Jang Jang-ho said, “Kim Yun-sik’s pitches were a bit crowded, but the ball itself wasn’t bad. The Kiwoom batters hit it well.” Kiwoom added three more runs in the sixth and eighth innings to complete the 13-run victory.
On the mound for Kiwoom was Choi Won-tae, who has started five consecutive quality starts. Won-tae Choi didn’t have much trouble, 메이저놀이터 allowing just one hit through three innings. In the fourth inning, Austin doubled, but Choi was able to keep the game scoreless with the help of Kim Hye-sung’s double play. In the fifth inning, with runners on first and third, she got Hong Chang-ki to ground out to second base to end the threat.
In the top of the fifth inning, LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop made a decision. He made four changes at the start of the fifth inning. Lee Ju-hyung replaced Hong Chang-gi, Park Dong-won replaced Heo Do-hwan, Oh Ji-hwan replaced Kim Min-sung, and Moon Bo-kyung replaced Jung Joo-hyun. Moon Sung-joo moved to the right wing spot in place of Hong Chang-gi, while Lee Joo-hyung took the left wing spot.
LG changed all of their fielders except for Kim Hyun-soo, who was given the week off. He practically threw a stone and called for a break.
On the day, Choi Won-tae shut down the LG offense until the seventh inning, allowing just five hits and two walks. He threw 94 pitches. The Kiwoom fans chanted Choi Won-tae’s name as he walked off the mound.