All remaining 35G are important”

Park Hae-min, who led LG to escape its third consecutive loss with a walk-off hit, said, “You can’t look down…All remaining 35G are important”

“I don’t think I should look down now. All the remaining 35 games are precious and important.”

Park Hae-min, who led the LG Twins’ escape from three consecutive losses with a walk-off hit, expressed his feelings.

Park Hae-min started as the ninth batter and center fielder in the 2023 professional baseball KBO League home game against the Doosan Bears at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on August 31.

From the beginning of the game, Park Hae-min played a role like Altoran well. In the bottom of the third inning, he made a sacrifice bunt against opposing starter Kwak Bin at first base with no outs. In the bottom of the fifth inning, he also made a sacrifice bunt by attacking Kwak Bin’s three pitches from first and second bases with no outs. Unfortunately, the runners, who succeeded in advancing at the expense of Park Hae-min, failed to score on both occasions.
Park Hae-min swung his bat in earnest from the bottom of the seventh inning. In the absence of a runner with one out, Doosan’s right-handed bullpen resource Kim Myung-shin hit a two-ball 131km slider to produce a right-handed hit.

Park Hae-min, who turned to a grounder to second base in the bottom of the ninth inning, shone the most in the bottom of the 10th inning when the two teams were facing each other 2-2. With two outs and runners on first and second base, he pushed the opponent’s right-handed bullpen pitcher Lee Young-ha’s three-ball 141km slider to shoot a walk-off hit that fell to the left-center wall. It was the moment when LG’s three consecutive losses, which lasted from the 25th to the 27th of last month, ended.

Park Hae-min, whom I met after the game, said with a bright smile, “It was more burdensome because I had a strong side (a batting average of 0.424 and 14 hits in 33 at-bats, including the game), so I think it led to a good result.”

He said, “I thought it would not be a little easy as the ball count became disadvantageous due to a no-ball two-strike. However, when I saw Lee Young-ha’s highest fastball speed today, it reached 152km. He put the game on the fast ball. “Although the breaking ball (slider) came, I think it was effective because the breaking ball was also quickly broken,” he said, looking back on the moment when he hit a walk-off hit.

Park Hae-min sensed that Oh Ji-hwan, who was the second baseman, could come home unconditionally as soon as he hit the ball. “As soon as (the ball hit the bat), I thought (Oh Ji-hwan) would come home. I didn’t even doubt it. I thought I won,” he said with a smile.

In fact, LG’s atmosphere was not good until this game. He knelt in all three consecutive weekend games against the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park since the 25th of last month.

The results were also results, but the process was not good. First of all, in the game on the 25th, starting pitcher Choi Won-tae collapsed with 15 hits, two outs, five strikeouts, 11 runs and nine earned runs in four innings. On the 26th, the next day, he led 5-3 until the end of the ninth inning, but cried due to the bad luck that the opponent Park Kun-woo’s ball hit the referee’s foot and was recognized as an infield hit. LG then allowed Jason Martin and Kwon Hee-dong to hit a timely RBI single and a come-from-behind three-run finish, respectively, losing 5-7.

On the 27th, the last day since then, LG could not smile. It was a fierce battle all the time, but in the end, it had to accept the bitter result of a 3-5 defeat.

This game wasn’t easy either. LG was dragged 0-2 by Doosan until the top of the eighth inning. However, in the bottom of the eighth inning, the batters revived. After one out, Austin Dean drew a 127m solo arch over the left-center wall fence. In the first and third bases with one out, which was connected by consecutive hits by Moon Bo-kyung and Oh Ji-hwan, Choi Seung-min, who was on third base as a pinch-runner, dug into the home base while Doosan pitcher Jung Chul-won threw to first base due to Park Dong-won’s bunt attempt. LG, who balanced the game like that, was able to face a precious victory with Park Hae-min’s walk-off hit in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Park Hae-min said, “I had a feeling of being chased because I played some bad games in Changwon. However, it was a difficult game today, but I think the players didn’t give up and turned it upside down and faced a turning point,” he said.

He then said, “All of my teammates thought that the losing streak should not be prolonged,” adding, “After Austin hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he worked hard to revive the dugout atmosphere, and Park Dong-won also showed his desire to win by attempting a bunt in a difficult situation for the team. “I think everyone wanted to win,” he nodded.

KT Wiz, the second-place player, has been on a strong rise recently. The performance is 63 wins, 2 draws and 47 losses. Fortunately, LG maintained the gap with KT at 4.5 games with 66 wins, 2 draws and 41 losses due to the victory, but all LG players, including Park Hae-min, will be concerned to some extent.

Nevertheless, Park Hae-min said, “I don’t think we should look down now. “Our team has been doing really well, and if we feel chased, we may play passively,” he said. “We have to play against Hanwha (Eagles) again tomorrow.” Both foreign pitchers appear (in the series). I can’t afford to think about anything else. Tomorrow is also an important game. “Now all the remaining 35 games are precious and important,” he said.


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