There was a play that didn’t make sense, and it ultimately led to the loss.
The top-ranked LG Twins lost 3-6 against the Gwangju KIA Tigers on the 27th. With the win, Kia’s ace Yang Hyun-jong reached 162 career wins, moving him into sole possession of second place on the all-time wins list.
LG was looking for an upset win, but a bizarre play cost them the chance.
Trailing 3-6 in the top of the seventh inning. One out later, Jung Ju-hyun singled up the middle and Park Hae-min walked to put runners on first and second. KIA starter Yang Hyun-jong, who was nearing his pitch limit, faltered with his pitches. No. 1 Hong Chang-ki picked off two consecutive pitches in the 1B1S and waited for five pitches in a favourable count in the 3B1S. The fifth pitch was a 144-kilometre fastball, straight to Hong’s body. The umpire’s call was a strike, even though it was inside the strike zone on the replay screen. Kia catcher Shin Beom-soo threw to third base. Second baseman Jeong Ju-hyun tried to steal third base, but Shin’s throw was accurate and Jeong was easily out.먹튀검증
In the second inning, Hong Chang-ki drew a six-pitch walk, and the pitcher who replaced Moon Sung-joo at the plate, Choi Ji-min, turned the ball into a fastball that the catcher couldn’t catch properly. However, No. 3 Oh Ji-hwan flied out to centre field, adding one hit, three walks and a fastball, but he was unable to score, and even though he had a chance to score in the ninth inning, the game ended 3-6 with no runs scored.
It was a disappointing start to the seventh inning. Assuming that the next batter’s situation was the same, Jung Joo-hyun would have had the first out if he didn’t try to steal, a fastball would have brought in a run, Moon Sung-joo would have walked to put runners on first and second and third, Oh Ji-hwan’s sacrifice fly to centre field would have made it 5-6, and Austin Dean would have come in with runners on first and second or first and third. Of course, if the situation is different, the response will be different, and the outcome will be different, but since it’s already happened, these subjunctives are useless.
But you can’t help but wonder. Why did Jung steal third base on a 3B1S count with runners on first and second?
Even if you have fast feet and the green light is on, it’s not easy to attempt a steal in that situation. It’s likely that he was caught.
It could have been a single steal by Jeong, or it could have been a double steal with Jeong running and Park not running.
Jeong doesn’t have incredibly fast feet, but he does have experience stealing bases. He stole 18 bases in 2018 and 15 in 2019. Until last year, he had stolen 67 bases in his career and failed 30 times, for a 69.1 per cent success rate.
While his success rate isn’t low, he hasn’t played much in the first team lately and hasn’t had many opportunities to do so. This season, he had two attempts to steal, one successful and one unsuccessful. With this one, he was successful once, unsuccessful twice.
It could have been a run-and-hit sign, where the runner runs and the batter hits if a strike is called, but not if it’s a ball. A fastball up the middle for a strike would have given Hong a chance to get a hit, but he thought it was a ball and didn’t bat, and Jung Ju-hyun ran as planned and Park Hae-min didn’t run.
It is also possible that Jung simply missed the sign.
Judging from the TV replays, which showed Coach Yoon getting very angry, it was definitely a misplay.
Whatever the case may be, the result was a failed steal, which cost LG a big opportunity and ultimately the game.
LG has said that they will try to win the championship this season by adding details to their previous efforts. It’s embarrassing to see the ridiculousness that sometimes comes out, and to think this was in Game 7 of the Korean Series. They will have to refine and polish their game to make sure they don’t make any mistakes.