Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates), who joined the roster for the opening game of the Major League (MLB) for the first time after advancing to the United States, hit a multi-hit hit from the first game.
Bae Ji-hwan started as Pittsburgh’s 8th hitter and second baseman in the 2023 Major League Opening Game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA on the 31st (Korean time), 2 hits in 3 at-bats, 2 runs scored, 1 walk and 2 steals. Recorded.
Bae Ji-hwan, who made his big league debut last year, entered the opening game for the first time. Together with teammate Choi Ji-man (32), he made a record of being the first Korean fielder to play in the opening game of the Major League with the same team. In addition, Bae Ji-hwan, who poured in hits from the first game of the opening game, became the first Korean hitter to have multi-hits in the opening game in 10 years since Choo Shin-soo (41, SSG, then Cincinnati) in 2013.
Initially, Pittsburgh’s second baseman position was likely to be Rodolfo Castro (24). However, according to Pittsburgh Baseball Now, an American media outlet, Pittsburgh coach Derek Shelton appointed Bae Ji-hwan as second baseman, saying, “From now on, Castro will play second base and Bae Ji-hwan will play as an outfielder, but this lineup can win today.”
Bae Ji-hwan showed off his quick feet from his first at-bat. Bae Ji-hwan, who came out after two outs in the top of the second inning, put a surprise bunt in front of the second baseman. He stepped on first base so quickly that the second baseman stepped forward and tried to handle it, but he couldn’t even throw.
In the fourth inning, he contributed to the team taking the lead. Bae Ji-hwan, who appeared after one out, pushed Cincinnati starter Hunter Green’s fastball to the finish and hit a double to the left of the left fielder. Then, the next batter, Austin Hedges, stole third base at the plate. His bold attempt to steal a 100 mph fastball succeeded. Bae Ji-hwan scored a run to make it 2-1 by stepping home on Brian Reynolds’ push-off walk with the next runner loaded. 스포츠토토
Bae Ji-hwan, who took a breather in the 5th inning with a floating ball from center fielder, raised the score again in the 8th inning with quick feet. After coming out as the lead batter and picking up a straight walk, he immediately succeeded in stealing second base and was in scoring position. Bae Ji-hwan added the score with Hedges’ sacrifice bunt and Onenelly Cruz’s sacrifice fly.
On this day, Bae Ji-hwan shook the opponent’s infield with quick feet such as bunt hits and stolen bases. Cincinnati was unable to properly prepare for the bold play, and Bae Ji-hwan became the team’s hero. Also on defense, he showed off his utility ability by moving to center field in the ninth inning.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh won the game 5-4. ‘Pirate Captain’ Andrew McCutchen (37), who returned to Pittsburgh after six years, reported a splendid comeback by recording 4 on-base including 3 walks as the designated hitter 3 times. Choi Ji-man did not participate in the game.