Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego), whose batting has been on a bit of a downward spiral since September, came alive twice to lead the team’s offense and win. Choi Ji-Man (31, San Diego) also made his first appearance since returning from injury. However, he was unable to record his first hit for San Diego.
San Diego combined a focused batting lineup with a steady mound to defeat Oakland 5-2 on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA. San Diego, which is virtually eliminated from the postseason and literally only a mathematical possibility, won its third straight to improve to 71-78 on the season.
Kim went 1-for-4 on the day with a run scored, a walk, and two strikeouts. His batting average dropped slightly from .266 to .265, but his on-base percentage remained at .356 for the season. Unfortunately, Choi went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout, dropping his season average further to 0.174 from 0.179. However, the single did raise his on-base percentage from 0.239 to 0.242.
For San Diego, which has already lost two key starters to injury in Darvish Yu and Joe Musgrave, Matt Waldron pitched relatively well on the day, giving up two runs on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings to give the A’s an early lead and earn the win. The bullpen held Oakland in check the rest of the way.
At the plate, the bats came out strong across the board. Leadoff hitter Ha-Sung Kim opened the offense with a 1-for-3 performance with a double, a walk, and a run scored. Fernando Tatis Jr. backed him up with a hit and a walk, Juan Soto had a hit, a walk, and two RBIs, and Xander Bogaerts had two hits and an RBI. Ji-Man Choi, who started at first base in the sixth spot, went 0-for-2 with a walk before being replaced by Cooper in the seventh inning to finish the game.
Meanwhile, Oakland’s Mason Miller, who has one of the hardest fastballs in the league, struggled with early command issues, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks in one inning. The Dodgers went to their bullpen, but the league’s worst offense remained helpless.
0.236 BABIP in September Kim Ha-seong and Choi Ji-Man return from injury to start alongside the ‘Korean League’
From mid-June to mid-August, Kim was at the peak of his power and perfectly positioned as the team’s leadoff hitter, but after mid-August, his power sagged. This was likely due to the lack of rest. While other players were able to get a day’s rest when they moved to the designated hitter spot, Kim had to play defense most of the time.
Even San Diego manager Bob Melvin felt guilty and worried about not giving him the rest he deserved due to the team’s struggles. Kim was batting just .160 with a .236 on-base percentage in 12 games in September before this game. He was three home runs away from becoming the first Asian infielder to join the 20-20 club, but he hadn’t hit a home run since August 22. Kim needed to step up his game to finish the season with a perfect record.
Choi was in no such hurry. Injuries have been plaguing him this season. Choi underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his elbow after last season, which delayed his debut with his new team, Pittsburgh. He was traded to San Diego at the trade deadline in late July, but his left rib cage injury was compounded by a bruised foot after being hit by a pitch during a rehab game. However, Choi completed his rehab assignment and was designated for assignment to the major league roster on July 16. After going 0-for-11 with five strikeouts in his first 11 at-bats with San Diego, Choi was in desperate need of a bounce back.
Korean League snow baseball starts in the first inning, with Kim Ha-seong leading the way
Oakland’s starter for the day was Miller, a prospect who throws 100 miles per hour. The pitcher was one of the top prospects in the league and a strategic player for Oakland. Prior to this game, he was 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA in six games (five starts) on the season. His strikeout rate had reached 9.9 per nine innings.
However, the night for the prospect got off to a rocky start. San Diego’s leadoff hitter, Ha-Sung Kim, wreaked havoc from the start. Miller threw a cannonball fastball up to 99.1 mph (159.5 km/h) at Kim. But the pitch was all over the place. Kim watched calmly. He fouled off an unfavorable count of 1B-2S and held on, calling time and taking away Miller’s timing. Eventually, he picked off both pitches on the high side of 2B-2S to get out.
Tatis Jr. sent Kim to third base. He took a low fastball that slipped between the first baseman and the right field line for a double. It was an easy hit for Kim’s feet to get to third base. With runners on second and third, Kim tagged up and came home on Soto’s sacrifice fly to right field. It was Kim’s 81st RBI of the season.
San Diego pushed Miller around. Bogart singled up the middle and Tatis Jr. came home to make it 2-0. Luis Camposano struck out, but Choi capitalized on the opportunity. Choi showed that his stuff was alive by picking off pitch after pitch in a 1S count. The second pitch, a low fastball, nearly hit Choi’s ankle. A pitch clock violation moved him up one more pitch, and he saw a four-pitch high fastball safely.
San Diego loaded the bases with two outs when Trent Grisham, the next batter after Choi, walked. But Matthew Batten struck out to end the threat.
Choi made a defensive play, allowing Kim to score from second.
With Kim on second and Choi on first, it was starting to look like a throw from Kim and a catch from Choi. Oakland pulled Miller after one inning and brought up Luis Medina to start the second.
Facing Medina, Kim flied out to center field in his second at-bat of the inning on a favorable 3B count. A five-pitch 97.1 mph (156.3 km/h) fastball up the middle, he spun his bat but couldn’t get a hit.
Choi made a smart tag on defense in the second inning to get one out. A grounder was hit to first base, and Choi caught it and made a soft tag to end the inning. The initial call was a safe, but it was overturned to an out after video review. In his second at-bat of the third inning, Choi swung at a five-pitch curveball, but it was only a grounder to first base.
But Kim’s bat shined again in the fourth inning with a 2-1 lead. Two batters later, Brett Sullivan drew a walk to capitalize on the opportunity, and Kim extended the lead with a single to right off Medina. On a 1B-1S count, the third pitch, a 94.3-mph (151.8-kilometer) sinker, was on the body, but Kim pushed it away, sending the ball into the outfield. It wasn’t a fastball, but it was a technical hit that stood out.
After Kim kept the momentum going, Tatis Jr. drew a walk to load the bases with two outs, and Soto drew a 10-pitch walk to bring in another run. It was the biggest play of the game, and a testament to the power of Soto, who has one of the best leadoff pitches in the league. Kim Ha-seong’s RBI single kept the momentum going.
Choi struck out in his third at-bat of the fifth inning. He worked a full count but swung at a seven-pitch changeup. After San Diego scored two more runs in the fifth on an error, Kim also struck out on a foul tip in his fourth at-bat of the fifth after a nine-pitch at-bat. After the missed opportunity, Kim took off his helmet and prepared to field in the sixth inning.
Choi still in a platooning mood? Kim didn’t get another hit either
Choi was replaced by Garrett Cooper in the seventh inning. He could have gotten another shot in the comeback, but the San Diego bench was cool with the lefty Lucas. Choi, who has been plagued by the perception that he is weak against lefties throughout his career, cried at the preconceived notion.
With San Diego leading 5-2, Kim struck out in his final at-bat of the eighth inning. He fought through two fouls on unfavorable counts of 1B-2S, but was perfectly fooled by a six-pitch slider that curved outside.
It didn’t have much of an impact on San Diego’s victory, though. After Waldron was pulled after 5 1/3 innings, Barlow (1 1/3 innings) and Suarez (1 1/3 innings) kept Oakland at bay. Then, with a 5-2 lead in the ninth, closer Josh Hader took the mound to close out the game and secure the third straight win.
Kim made a spectacular defensive play in the final minute. San Diego led 5-2 with one out in the ninth inning. Allen hit a grounder to second base that was about to sail over the center fielder’s head, but Kim caught it and made a glove toss to shortstop Bogaerts.메이저놀이터
It wasn’t an easy throw to second base because it was a dynamic play. With the momentum, I had no choice but to continue toward the shortstop, which would have required a full stop and a throw to second base, which was too late. But Kim Ha-sung was different. He made a precise glove toss, killing the momentum in his direction, and threw the runner out at second base. It was a perfect play that even the local broadcasters couldn’t help but be impressed with, closing the door on San Diego.