“This is really not working… Neither the fastball nor the changeup were timed well. The expression on the face of captain Lee Jung-hoo, who was silent after going 0-for-4, turned cold after the game.
Kiwoom was in eighth place, 3.5 games behind fourth-place NC and Doosan. They had shared the last two games with the league’s bottom-ranked KT. Captain Lee Jung-hoo started in the leadoff spot on the final day of the three-game series, hoping for a sweep, but came up short in both offense and defense.
After going 0-for-2 with one RBI on the first day and 4-for-2 with one RBI on the second day, Lee seemed to be finding his groove at the plate, but went 0-for-4 on the final day with the series on the line.
The leadoff hitter was stymied by KT’s starting pitching staff, failing to reach first base even once. In his first at-bat, a full-count, eight-pitch at-bat in the first inning, Lee lost his timing on a 130-kilometer changeup and lined it into left field.
In his second at-bat, the bases were loaded in the third inning. Lee swung at a 143-kilometer fastball on the third pitch of the at-bat between 1B and 1S, but missed and grounded out to second base. KT starter Uhm Sang-baek’s changeup and fastball hit Ki Uhm twice. With one last chance for revenge in the 6th inning, 0B 2S unfavorable count, Kim swung at a 147km fastball, but couldn’t get it past first baseman Park Byung-ho and struck out in all three at-bats.
KT’s starting pitcher, Uhm Sang-baek, is perfect against Kiwoom Lee Jung-hoo. Uhm continued his strong form against Lee, holding him to a .200 batting average with five hits, one walk, one strikeout, and only one extra-base hit.
In his final at-bat, in the eighth inning, he hit a 128-kilometer changeup from pitcher KT Park Young-hyun, but this time it was blocked by first baseman Park Byung-ho’s glove, and Lee ended the game without ever reaching first base.
Lee had been in a hitting slump since the start of the season, hitting .218 with 19 doubles, three home runs and 13 RBIs in April, but he was slowly returning to form in May. After batting .286 with 24 hits and eight RBIs in May, his batting stalled again this week, going 2-for-10 in a three-game series against KT.
After batting .342 (13-for-38) with three home runs, seven RBIs, one stolen base, five walks and two strikeouts in his last 10 games, his batting average dropped to .297 after today’s game.안전놀이터
When Lee’s bat didn’t work out the way he wanted it to, his defense faltered as well. In the bottom of the second inning, KT Park Kyung-soo hit a ball to the outfield. It was a routine fly to left fielder Im Ji-yeol and center fielder Lee Jung-hoo, and just as it looked like they were going to handle the ball, Lee Jung-hoo, who had priority on defense, raised his hand and signaled for the catch. Just before the catch, Lee looked at left fielder Lim Ji-yeol, and the ball fell between the two of them for a hit.
The play was not recorded as an error, but it was uncharacteristic of Lee. KT’s Lee Ho-yeon followed with an infield single, and the poor defense eventually led to a run.
Kiwoom lost 3-0. Captain Lee Jung-hoo left the field with a determined look on his face.