Super Korean Day Bae Ji-hwan’s walk-off home run
Choi Ji-man is arching two consecutive games
Pittsburgh Pirates’ “Korean Duo” Bae Ji-hwan and Choi Ji-man fired home runs side by side, heating up their home stadium PNC Park.
Choi Ji-man hit a 2-2 balance-breaking solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning, then hit a pleasant “knife dance” in the dugout, and Bae Ji-hwan hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 4-4 score and made a cool “bat flip” to throw the bat.
Bae Ji-hwan started as the first batter and second baseman in a home game against the Houston Astros in the 2023 U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the 12th (Korea Standard Time).
Bae Ji-hwan’s performance on this day was one hit (three RBIs and one run) in five at-bats, but he hit a dramatic walk-off three-run home run and became the main character of the “Hero Interview.”
Although he gave up the spotlight to his junior Bae Ji-hwan, Choi Ji-man also started as the third designated hitter and hit home runs in two consecutive games, recording two hits in four at-bats and one RBI.
This is the first time that a Korean big leaguer hit a home run in the same game on the same team
The highlight of “Super Korean Day” was the bottom of the ninth inning.
Pittsburgh led 4-2 with Choi Ji-man’s home run, but allowed two runs in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game 4-4.
Pittsburgh took the opportunity with Rodolfo Castro’s right-handed hit in the bottom of the ninth inning and sent out “captain” Andrew McCutcheon as a pinch hitter after one out.
McCutcheon, who appeared with cheers from home fans, connected the opportunity to first and second base with one out with a left-handed hit.
Soon after, the loudest roar of the game broke out.
Bae Ji-hwan, who stepped down with two strikeouts in the previous four at-bats, kicked a 142km/h changeup by Houston right-handed firefighter Ryan Pressley, who took the mound in the 506th game of the big league.
Bae Ji-hwan, who sensed the home run, roared as he threw the bat
The ball flew 123 meters at 168 kilometers per hour and settled in the right-center outfield stand.
Bae Ji-hwan, who hit his first big league home run over the “Green Monster” against the Boston Red Sox on the 5th, decorated his second home run of his career with a thrilling walk-off home run. The first home run he hit at home was a strong goodbye arch.
In a hero interview after the game, Bae Ji-hwan said in Korean, “It feels like I’m dreaming.” “I couldn’t hit in the front at-bat, so I wanted to end it,” he said.
“I grew up watching Kang Jung-ho, who played for Pittsburgh,” he said in English. (When Kang Jung-ho played for Pittsburgh) McCutcheon was also playing, and at that time, McCutcheon hit a home run and did a “slam dunk ceremony.” I didn’t know I would do it, but I did it today,” he said, drawing cheers from the audience.
Bae Ji-hwan’s season batting average dropped slightly from 0.250 to 0.242 (8 hits in 33 at-bats), but his RBI increased to six
Choi Ji-man’s performance also shone.
Choi Ji-man’s highlight was the bottom of the sixth inning.
Choi Ji-man, who appeared as the leadoff hitter in a 2-2 tie, hit a 148-kilometer fastball per hour and hit a solo shot over the right wall after a full count (3 balls-2 strikes) match with Houston right-handed starter Christian Javier.
The batting speed was 177 kilometers per hour and the distance was 127 meters. It was not only an outfield fence but also an “outfield home run” that crossed the wall behind the stands.
Choi Ji-man hit his first home run of the season against Houston the previous day. It was also his first home run since he moved to Pittsburgh.
Choi Ji-man, who found “Gam,” hit a long ball from his first at-bat on the 12th.
Choi Ji-man hit Javier’s knuckle curve in the bottom of the first inning with two outs and no runner, making a 112-meter double that directly hit the right wall.
In the sixth inning, he increased the distance and sent the ball out of the wall.
After hitting a home run in the sixth inning, Choi Ji-man performed a ceremony to wield a “pirate’s sword” in the dugout.
Choi Ji-man struck out in the third and seventh innings.
Choi Ji-man, who hit his first multi-hit of the season, raised his season batting average from 0.087 to 0.148 (4 hits in 27 at-bats)
Choi Ji-man’s home run was not the winning shot.
However, it became the bridge that made the most brilliant moment for Bae Ji-hwan, a Korean junior.
Bae Ji-hwan hit a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Choi Ji-man poured ice on Bae Ji-hwan, who is doing a hero interview 파워볼게임