The uniform of Kim Hye-seong (24),안전놀이터 who was the king of stolen bases in the KBO league, was never clean. With or without pain, even when the team turned around, Kim Hye-seong always went one base at a time. He didn’t steal a base that day, but his uniform was undoubtedly muddy. Kiwoom Heroes, which was on the brink of the most consecutive losses since its foundation in 2008, escaped from the swamp of a long losing streak thanks to Kim Hye-seong (24)’s fighting spirit and opponent’s mistakes.
Kiwoom won the Lotte Giants 10-8 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season home game held at Gocheok Sky Dome in Guro-gu, Seoul on the 8th.
Kiwoom, who suffered 9 consecutive losses in 5196 days since the Seoul Heroes days (May 6 to May 17, 2009) the previous day (8th), broke the vicious cycle and won the first victory in August. Kiwoom, who recorded 42 wins, 3 draws and 58 losses, maintained 9th place ahead of the Samsung Lions (40 wins, 1 draw, 56 losses), who defeated the Doosan Bears on the same day.
The vanguard of escaping from a losing streak was Kim Hye-seong, the “designated hitter,” who recorded 3 hits in 4 at-bats, 2 RBIs and 2 runs. Kim Hye-seong, who had been replaced the previous day due to a bruise on his left knee, strongly demanded that he participate that day even though he was in pain. The highlight of the day was the bottom of the 3rd inning, where the score was 1-1. At the end of the 3rd inning, Kim Hye-seong got a come-from-behind 1 RBI, a timely hit and a final hit at first base. However, it was because of his poor scoring ability and uneasy bullpen that he was not relieved. When Lee Joo-hyung hit the ground ball that followed, he led a sore leg from third base to home and showed the whole body sliding, causing the opponent to make a mistake, and making a big inning with 5 points in the third inning. Even after that, Kim Hye-seong, who pulled out hits and runs, proved why he was the core of Kiwoom by hitting.
Kiwoom starting pitcher Ariel Hurado played a role as a’stopper for consecutive losses’ by winning the 7th win (8th loss) of the season with 5 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts and 3 runs in 5 innings. Hurado broke the team’s losing streak by becoming the winning pitcher with 2 runs in 6 innings against Sajik Lotte on the 22nd of last month, when Kiwoom lost its first 8 consecutive losses this season. On this day, he had a difficult game, but he endured until the 5th inning and met the requirements for a winning pitcher. In addition, Dawson led the team with 3 hits, and Song Seong-moon and Kim Dong-heon each with 2 hits.
On the other hand, Lotte starting pitcher Park Se-woong took his 7th loss (4 wins) of the season by destroying himself along with the defense with 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout and 6 runs (3 earned) in 2⅓ innings in a rematch with Hurado. In the other lineup, Lee Jeong-hoon recorded 3 hits and Jeong Bo-geun scored a multi-hit, but he collapsed early with 3 errors in defense and failed to jump to the middle ranks.
Lotte: Ahn Kwon-soo (left fielder) – Kim Min-seok (center fielder) – Lee Jung-hoon (designated hitter) – Nico Gudrum (shortstop) – Ahn Chi-hong (2nd baseman) – Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder) – Park Seung-wook (3rd baseman) – Koh Seung-min (1st baseman) – Jeong Bo-geun (catcher) lined up the batting order. The starting pitcher is Park Se-woong.
Kiwoom Lee Yong-gyu (right fielder) – Kim Hye-seong (designated hitter) – Ronnie Dawson (left fielder) – Kim Hui-jib (shortstop) – Song Seong-moon (3 baseman) – Lee Joo-hyung (center fielder) – Kim Tae-jin (2nd baseman) – Kim Soo-hwan (1st baseman) – Kim Dong-heon (catcher) ) constituted the other line. The starting pitcher is Ariel Furado.
Both Lotte and Kiwoom changed their table setters. Kim Min-seok, who played his first 5 on-base game the day before (8th), went up to No. 2, and Ahn Kwon-soo took the leadoff. Goodrum, who showed active base running, was placed at number 4. Lotte manager Larry Sutton said in an interview before the game, “One of the things our team did well at the beginning of the season was that table setters made it very active and became an offensive baseball.” I packed a table setter because he is showing a hot hitting feeling. Good Drum is also showing improvement in the plate, so I was appointed as number 4.”
The first priority was Lotte. In the top of the first inning, lead batter Ahn Kwon-soo walked out, and Lee Jung-hoon made the first and third bases with a right-handed hit. As Gudrum sent the ball far to the center of the outfield, Ahn Kwon-soo, who was on third base, stepped on the home ball, giving Lotte a 1-0 lead.
However, it was Lotte who made a series of mistakes and easily lost the lead. At the end of the second inning, lead batter Song Seong-moon hit in the middle right, and Lee Ju-hyeong reached base with a walk, making the first and second bases safe. In Kim Tae-jin’s at-bat, Gudrum’s defense was disappointing. Kim Tae-jin’s hit ball became a weak ground ball, and first baseman Ko Seung-min threw to second base to catch the leading runner. Gudrum, who received the ball, threw it back to first base, but the ball headed to Kiwoom dugout so that Park Se-woong, who entered first base cover, could not receive it. Song Seong-moon, who was on second base, turned the third base and stepped on the home plate, tying the score 1-1.
Afterwards, the second episode ended with Kim Dong-heon’s double play, but the horror show in the Lotte infield did not end here. In the bottom of the 3rd inning, lead batter Lee Yong-gyu reached base with a right-handed hit and headed to second base with Park Se-woong’s wild throw. Kim Hye-seong made a 2-1 turnaround with an RBI and a timely hit that brushed the side of the second baseman, and Song Seong-moon walked with a walk and Kiwoom took a chance with a run and full base.
Another disappointing defense came out of Lee Joo-hyung’s at-bat. This time, it was in the direction of 1st base. Lee Joo-hyung’s ground ball hit by first baseman Ko Seung-min was not enough, so two runners stepped on the home pitch as they made a bad throw toward home. Kiwoom took a 4-1 lead with runners on second and third.
Following this, Kim Tae-jin’s right-handed 2 RBIs hit at the right time, and Kiwoom seized the victory. Here too, Yoon Dong-hee’s throw hit the glove of first baseman Ko Seung-min, who entered the relay play, and bounced, putting him in a crisis with one out and second base. In the end, Lotte changed the mound from Park Se-woong to Choi Lee-jun, and Choi Lee-jun blocked the game without conceding, and Park Se-woong finished the game with 6 hits, 3 walks, 1 strikeout and 6 runs (3 earned) in 2⅓ innings.
On this day, Park Se-woong’s total number of pitches was 70 (26 fastballs, 15 sliders, 12 curveballs, 11 forks, 6 slubs), and the highest speed was 148 km per hour. Park Se-woong continued to allow hits on the mound, causing a crisis, and Ya Su-jin, who had only 3 errors in 7 games in August, was unable to prevent a large number of runs by making 3 mistakes in a row only in the 1st to 3rd innings.
Then, in the bottom of the ninth, he took his last chance against Seung-Woo Joo. In the second out, Seo Dong-wook, Lee Jung-hoon, and Gudrum continued to walk. Kiwoom replaced the mound with Lee Myeong-jong, but Ahn Chi-hong made up for 2 points with a timely hit with 1 RBI in the left field and Yoon Dong-hee with a push walk.
In the end, Kiwoom put in Lim Chang-min as the finisher. Park Seung-wook chased up to 8-10 with 2 RBIs in right field and pinch hit Jeong Hoon 1 RBI in timely hit, but the game ended with Kiwoom’s victory as Noh Jin-hyeok retreated with a ball in left field.