Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bae Ji-hwan was unable to continue his “three-hit” streak for the second consecutive day, going hitless amid a questionable call.메이저놀이터
Bae went hitless in four at-bats, starting at second base and batting first against the Minnesota Twins in the 2023 Major League Baseball World Series at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, on April 21 (ET).
Bae was sidelined with an ankle injury late in the first half. After being shut down just before the All-Star break, Bae took some time off to focus on his recovery and began a rehab assignment at Triple-A on April 2, where he batted .344 with one home run, nine runs scored, two doubles and a .993 OPS in nine games before returning to the major leagues on April 19.
His return to the big leagues has been nothing short of spectacular. Bae had a multi-hit game in his comeback, including a two-run shot over the fence, and he also had a “three-strikeout” game with one walk, and he had a “six-strikeout” game the day before (on the 20th) with a huge double that didn’t turn into a home run and two walks.
But the good form of the last two games didn’t carry over to today. In the top of the first inning, Bae led off against Minnesota starter Dallas Keuchel and pulled a five-pitch fastball to the side of the plate, only to be retired on a grounder to first base. Then, in the second at-bat of the fourth inning, Bae swung at an outside slider and hit it into the left field seats.
Bae didn’t have many opportunities to get on base, as the Pittsburgh lineup struggled to find the mound, let alone Minnesota’s starting pitching. In the top of the sixth inning, Bae battled Kaikle to a six-pitch count in his third at-bat, but was forced to hang his head when he grounded out to third base on an 87.8 mph sinker.
In his final at-bat, he walked to end the game. Trailing 0-2 and with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, Bae faced Minnesota closer John Duran and struck out looking to end the game. That’s where the umpire’s call came in.
At 2B-2S, Duran’s 88.3 mph curveball was outside the strike zone, but the umpire’s hand went up. The call was unfair to Bae, as it was not a fastball that skimmed the strike zone. After the strikeout, Bae pointed to the spot where the ball came in and expressed his disappointment, and was unable to leave the batter’s box for a while. However, the call was not overturned.
Pittsburgh fell to 0-2 on the day, unable to continue the good momentum from the previous day’s win. The Pirates struggled against Minnesota starter Keichle for six and a third innings, collecting just one hit, and were unable to capitalize on any of their chances. Pittsburgh seemed to have a chance in the top of the ninth when Brian Reynolds singled with the bases loaded, but the next batter, Andrew McCutchen, was stranded at second on an 0-2 grounder.