Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bae Ji-hwan (24) contributed to the team’s victory by scoring a run after hitting a triple that sealed the game in the 8th inning.레모나토토
Bae Ji-hwan started as the 9th hitter and second baseman in the 2023 American Professional Baseball Major League (MLB) away game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA on the 22nd (Korean time), going 3-for-4 at bats, 1 hit, and 1 run. He had 1 RBI and 1 walk.
On this day, Bae Ji-hwan returned to the starting lineup after two games. However, he was placed as the 9th hitter in the batting order, not as the leadoff, and went out. Bae Ji-hwan, who hit a triple, produced a hit for the first time in four games since the game against the New York Yankees on the 16th.
Bae Ji-hwan played in 105 games this season, with a batting average of 0.237 (74 hits in 312 at-bats), 16 doubles, 2 triples, 29 RBI, 52 runs, 28 walks, 84 strikeouts, 23 stolen bases (7 failed steals), on-base percentage of 0.302, and slugging percentage. He is recording 0.321 and OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.642. The triple hit was a record that came 16 days after hitting against Milwaukee on September 7. In addition, it was the second triple in the big league career of Bae Ji-hwan, who debuted in Pittsburgh last year.
◆ Ground ball to first base in the 2nd inning → Walk in the 4th inning → Ground ball to pitcher in the 6th inningBae Ji-hwan went to bat first in the top of the second inning when both teams were tied 0-0 with two outs and runners on first and second base. Here, Bae Ji-hwan properly hit the third pitch against opposing starting pitcher Kyle Hendrix with the ball count 1-1, but it went right in the face of Cubs first baseman Cody Bellinger and was out. He seemed to hit the center of the bat properly, but it was unfortunate that he was not lucky with the direction of the batted ball. As the batted ball bounced right in front of Bellinger, the official record was recorded as a ground ball out to first baseman.
Bae Ji-hwan was in the top of the 4th inning when his team was ahead 2-0. He took his second at-bat with two outs and no runners on base. Against Bae Ji-hwan, Hendrix threw the ball towards the outside rather than towards the body. After picking out the four-seam fastball on the first and second pitches and the change-up on the third pitch, I just watched the four-seam fastball that hit the outside on the fourth pitch. In the end, on the fifth pitch, he picked a ball that missed about two balls and got on base with a walk. However, the follow-up corner Joe hit a straight hit to right field on the first pitch and failed to score.
Bae Ji-hwan took his third at-bat in the top of the sixth inning with his team leading 3-0. A situation with one out and no runner on base. The opposing pitcher is still Cubs starting pitcher Hendrix. Bae Ji-hwan watched the outside four-seam fastball that came in as a strike on the first pitch, and then targeted a low outside changeup on the second pitch. However, the batted ball bounced once and went comfortably into Hendrix’s glove. Hendrix did not approach first base after the catch and threw lightly, increasing the out count. Still, Bae Ji-hwan stepped on first base until the end and then slowly returned to the dugout. Afterwards, Bae Ji-hwan changed his position from defense to center fielder in the bottom of the 7th inning.
◆ And a triple in a critical situation in the 8th inning.Bae Ji-hwan’s decisive triple came in the top of the 8th inning when the team had a 3-1, two-run lead. Opportunity with 2 outs and 1st base. The opposing pitcher is Brad Boxberger. Ji-Hwan Bae did well in selecting a four-seam fastball near the outer zone of the first pitch, but both the four-seam fastball on the second pitch and the sinker on the third pitch resulted in strikes. And the 4th pitch. Bae Ji-hwan hit Box Burger’s 78.1 mile changeup.
With the ball count of 1-2, Box Burger threw a 78.1 mile (approximately 126.4 km) changeup on the fourth pitch. Bae Ji-hwan lowered his body as much as possible and swung the bat at the ball that went low towards Bae Ji-hwan’s legs. With his knees almost touching the ground and his body off balance, he spun the bat cheerfully, and the batted ball went out to the side of Cubs first baseman Bellinger. Bellinger tried to make a sliding catch, but Bae Ji-hwan’s hitting was so strong that he couldn’t catch it. According to MLB.com Game Day, the official Major League Baseball website, the exit speed was 96.9 miles (about 155.3 km).
Here, Bae Ji-hwan’s trademark uncontrollable storm run unfolded once again. Triolo, a runner on first base who had already gotten off to a quick start thanks to a run-and-hit strategy, went around third base and rushed toward home. At this time, the opposing defense’s broadcast play continued, and while Kurtman was staring at home and faltering, Bae Ji-hwan ran to third base. The moment he passed second base, his helmet had already come off. In the end, Bae Ji-hwan attempted a slide to third base and succeeded in making a save. However, he briefly missed third base due to his tremendous acceleration, but soon touched the base again. A scene that once again confirmed his instinct for speed. He also came close to third base and almost collided with Cubs third baseman Mile Mastroboni, but he showed instantaneous athleticism and the sense to slightly control his speed. Bae Ji-hwan then scored by easily hitting home on Connor Cho’s timely hit.
Meanwhile, on this day, Pittsburgh won after overtaking the Cubs’ formidable pursuit in the second half of the game. Pittsburgh scored first in the top of the third inning. He took advantage of leadoff hitter Joe’s heavy hit and Reynolds’ subsequent hit, shortstop’s fielder’s choice and error, and took advantage of first and second base. Then, with one out, Swinski’s ground ball to second base put the score on first and third base, and Anduha hit a timely double with two RBIs in the middle of the game. (2-0) Pittsburgh scored another run in the fifth inning. After one out, Hayes’ double and Swinski’s hit to right, Anduha hit a timely hit to left-center (3-0).
The Cubs, who had not scored a run until the sixth inning, launched a counterattack in the bottom of the seventh. After one out, Happ reached second base due to a heavy hit and a wild pitch from the opposing pitcher, and then settled at third base when Bellinger grounded out to first base. Swanson then recorded a timely hit to left. (3-1) Pittsburgh then added a timely triple and a run by Bae Ji-hwan in the top of the eighth inning to make it 5-1. Here, the pendulum seemed to be completely tilted towards Pittsburgh.
But the Cubs were persistent. In the bottom of the 8th inning, with one out and runners on 1st and 2nd base, Tuckman hit a timely double. (5-2) Then, after Holderman’s wild pitch, 3rd base runner Mastroboni hit home, and then 3rd base runner Tuckman hit Horner’s grounder to shortstop. He scored first and chased up to 5-4. However, Pittsburgh actually sealed the game with one big hit in the top of the 9th inning. After Swinski drew a walk with one out and runners on third base, pinch hitter Josh Palacios came on. Here, Palacios hit a three-run shot to right-center field against pitcher Merryweather and ran away to 8-4. The Cubs made up for two runs with Swanson’s two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth, but that was all. The game ended after Suzuki and Morel struck out and Gomes retired with a fly ball to right field.
Pittsburgh, which won that day, recorded two consecutive wins and a season record of 72 wins and 81 losses. The ranking is 4th in the National League Central Division. The gap with the Chicago Cubs (79 wins, 73 losses), third place in the National League wild card, was narrowed to 7 games. Pittsburgh starter Oviedo became the winning pitcher by pitching 6 innings (93 pitches), allowing 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, and no runs. 9th win this season (14 losses). On the other hand, Cubs starting pitcher Hendrix suffered his 8th loss of the season (6 wins) after 6 innings (95 pitches, 7 hits, 5 strikeouts, 2 walks, 3 runs (1 earned)).
◆ Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs starting lineup (September 22, Korean time, @Wrigley Field, 31,544 spectators)– Pittsburgh Pirates : Connor Cho (designated hitter) – Brian Reynolds (left fielder) – Brian Hayes (third baseman) – Jack Swinsky (center fielder) – Michael Anduja (right fielder) – Jared Triolo (first baseman) – Andy Rodriguez (catcher) – Leeover Figuero (shortstop) – Bae Ji-hwan (second baseman). Starting pitcher Johan Oviedo.
– Chicago Cubs : Mike Tuckman (center fielder) – Nico Horner (second baseman) – Ian Happ (left fielder) – Cody Bellinger (first baseman) – Dansby Swanson (shortstop) – Seiya Suzuki (right fielder) – Christopher Morrell (designated hitter) ) – Jan Gomes (catcher) – Miles Mastroboni (third baseman). Starting pitcher Kyle Hendrix.