A pitcher’s injury from a hard hit, a fatal throwing error… Bae Ji-hwan couldn’t smile despite his multiple on-base and timely hits.
Bae Ji-hwan (24, Pittsburgh Pirates) had a roller coaster-like day. He showed a good performance in attack, but was unable to smile due to a critical mistake in defense and an unfortunate injury to the opposing pitcher.
Bae Ji-hwan started as the first hitter and second baseman in the 2023 Major League Baseball home game against the New York Yankees held at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on the 16th (Korean time) and recorded 1 hit, 1 RBI, 2 runs, and 1 walk in 4 at-bats. He had a season batting average of 0.242.
Bae Ji-hwan, who had gone silent the previous day with no hits in 4 at-bats and 3 strikeouts due to the umpire’s unfortunate strike decision, succeeded in getting on base from his first at-bat that day. Bae Ji-hwan, who got on base with a walk while watching Yankees ace Gerrit Cole through 6 pitches, advanced to third base with the walks and hits of subsequent batters. With bases loaded and no outs, fourth batter Jack Swinski’s batted ball was caught by center fielder, and Bae Ji-hwan, who was a runner on third base, hit home and scored the first run.
Bae Ji-hwan, who faced Cole for the second time in the bottom of the second inning with one out and a runner on first base, was forced to retire with a ground ball to the third baseman after a full count, and had to be satisfied with advancing the runner to second base.스포츠토토
Bae Ji-hwan, who was called again at the bottom of the 4th inning with no outs on first base, fought even more tenaciously. Bae Ji-hwan made 3 foul balls and took the game to 8 pitches, but he struck out looking on a knuckle curve that was slightly over the strike zone on a deep course toward the body. Pittsburgh had two outs at once when first base runner Leover Peguero failed to steal base while aiming for second base.
Bae Ji-hwan recorded the first hit after Cole left the mound. In the bottom of the 6th inning, when Pittsburgh was down 2-3, with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd base, Bae Ji-hwan hit a strong curveball on the 4th pitch against changed pitcher Anthony Misewicz with the ball count of 1-2. The batted ball, traveling at 100.6 miles per hour (approximately 161.9 km), hit the pitcher’s head and flew all the way to right field, while the runner on second base hit home, recording Bae Ji-hwan’s RBI.
Bae Ji-hwan couldn’t smile even after hitting a timely hit. Seeing the pitcher falling down in pain after being hit in the head by his batted ball, Bae Ji-hwan felt sorry and sat down on first base, unable to raise his head for a while. Misebitz, who was hit by a batted ball, was bleeding, but luckily he got up, got into his cart, and left the ground with a thumbs up sign saying ‘I’m okay’. Bae Ji-hwan also had tears in his eyes when he saw Misebitz injured by his batted ball.
In the ensuing situation with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 3rd, Pittsburgh got on base with a ball hit by Brian Reynolds. With the bases loaded with 2 outs, Brian Hayes hit a timely hit, and Bae Ji-hwan, who was on second base, also homered, making the score 5-3, giving Pittsburgh the lead again.
Bae Ji-hwan, who came to bat for the fifth time in the bottom of the 8th inning with one out and no runner on base, played a tenacious full-count game that reached the 6th pitch, but was retired by a ground ball to the shortstop.
Pittsburgh was in crisis in the top of the 9th inning with a 5-3 lead. The changed pitcher, Colin Haldeman, brought on a no-death crisis with a hit, hit, and walk. Holderman took a breather by handling Giancarlo Stanton with a foul fly ball, but allowed a walk to Erteban Florial, bringing the score to 5-4, a one-point gap.
Holderman, who was shaken, induced a ground ball for a double play against the next batter, Anthony Wolff. Shortstop Peguero calmly caught the batted ball and connected it to second baseman Bae Ji-hwan, resulting in one out. A problem occurred in this scene. Bae Ji-hwan’s throw to first base bounced, and Alfonso Rivas tipped the ball back. In the meantime, two runners hit home, turning the game to 5-6. In a situation where the game should have ended, Pittsburgh actually allowed a comeback due to Bae Ji-hwan’s throwing error.
Afterwards, Holderman allowed consecutive hits, giving up one more point, and the score increased to 5-7. Pittsburgh’s cleanup trio came out in the final attack in the bottom of the 9th inning, but they suffered a disappointing comeback loss after a three-way strike.
Bae Ji-hwan reached base multiple times with a hit and a walk, and faithfully fulfilled his role as a leadoff by going 6 or more pitches in 4 of his 5 at-bats. However, he made a critical error in the 9th inning when he had a chance to end the game, and ultimately had to watch his team lose.