Park Hae-min’s secret to hitting .483 against Ahn Woo-jin is “not missing fastballs”
LG Twins outfielder Park Hae-min swept five RBIs alone to break down Kiwoom Heroes’ “ace” Ahn Woo-jin.
LG won 6-3 in Game 11 of the season against Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 2nd and achieved its first six consecutive wins of the season. LG, which secured the winning series with the victory, widened the gap with the second-place SSG Landers by 4.5 games.
If starting pitcher Lee Jung-yong had a pitching match with Ahn Woo-jin with six scoreless innings until the middle of the game, the sleeping lineup exploded after the seventh inning. The main character was Park Hae-min. Park Hae-min, who started as the eighth batter and center fielder, had two hits and five RBIs in three at-bats.
Park Hae-min pulled Kiwoom starter Ahn Woo-jin’s five-ball fastball in the bottom of the seventh inning with one out and a full base, making a sweeping three-run triple over the right fielder’s height. Later, LG added one point with Jang Jae-young’s wild pitch during Hong Chang-ki’s not-out, scoring as many as four points in one inning to win the game.
This was not the end of Park Hae-min’s 메이저사이트 performance. In the bottom of the eighth inning, he pushed Joo Seung-woo’s fastball with one out and runners on second and third base, bringing third baseman Oh Ji-hwan and second baseman Lee Jae-won home with a left-handed hit. Thanks to this, LG faced the top of the ninth inning with a six-point difference, and was able to maintain its lead until the end despite Jung Woo-young’s slump in ⅔ innings with three hits and three runs (one earned run).
After the game, Park Hae-min said, “I think not only I but also the players were able to play well as (Lee) Jung-yong played on par with the league’s top starter Ahn Woo-jin,” adding, “It would have been nice if the batters gave him a winning pitcher because Jung-yong pitched really well as a starting pitcher, but that’s a bit unfortunate.” Still, I feel good to win the game,” he said.
All batters in the KBO League feel picky about Ahn Woo-jin, the “League’s best ace,” but Park Hae-min is an exception. In addition to this season, Park Hae-min has been strong in the showdown since 2018 when Ahn Woo-jin made his professional debut. The two players had 14 hits in 35 at-bats, a batting average of 0.4834 RBIs.
Ahn Woo-jin, whose fastball speed was 158km/h, gradually increased his speed as the number of runners increased, and threw a curve to Park Hae-min with one out and full base and sprayed four fastball in a row. The battery Ahn Woo-jin and Lee Ji-young tried to take advantage of the advantage with a fastball-oriented match, but Park Hae-min, who did not back down from the opponent’s pitch, connected the fastball with a long shot.
Park Hae-min said, “I thought (Ahn Woo-jin) would throw a really good ball because it was a crisis, and he would throw the ball with the most confidence.” “I thought it was a fast ball, and I think trying not to miss the main weapon led to a good result,” he said, looking back on the triple situation.
Fans may think it is a “textbook answer,” but Park Hae-min explains that “a straightforward goal” worked in the end. “I don’t know because I focus on fastballs and hit them,” he said. “I don’t know, but I think it’s a little easier to deal with pitchers with fastballs as their breaking balls are bent faster than the type of pitchers who throw a lot of breaking balls.” “I think the results of the showdown came out well because the timing was good when I played against (An) Woo-jin,” he analyzed.
Park Hae-min, the top contributor to the victory, reached the 1400-hit mark for the 57th time in the KBO League history along with a five-run game. Park Hae-min smiled, saying, “I think I’m really proud of 1,400 hits because I’m a player who focuses more on defense and base than batting, and I’m proud that I’m achieving my career as a hitter to some extent.”