Lotte Giants super rookie Kim Min-seok (19) did another job. He saved a team that could have fallen into crisis with a single home run.
Lotte won 7-3 against the Hanwha Eagles in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Daejeon Hanwha Life Insurance Eagles Park on the 18th. On the 17th, they lost 1-2 after a close match against Hanwha in the 10th overtime, and before the game on the 18th, foreign hitter Jack Rex was diagnosed with a partial rupture of a tendon in his knee and left.
Lotte coach Larry Sutton said it was a problem that he couldn’t use Rex for at least 10 days, but he was deeply concerned about the lack of batting cycles across the batting line. Still, it was the commander’s job to find a way. He had to find a way to break through the attacking path as a skilled player.
Sutton said, “I’m looking for different ways (to score). There are players who are down overall cycles right now, and there are players with minor injuries, so we are trying to make changes to the lineup. “Rex won’t be in the lineup for 10 days, but we’ll find our way and we’ll get through this as a team.”
Who would have imagined that the first player to relieve Sutton’s worries would be 19-year-old rookie Kim Min-seok. Kim Min-seok started as the first hitter and center fielder that day and played an active role with 3 hits in 6 at-bats (1 home run), 1 RBI and 2 runs, laying the foundation for a great victory.
From the start of the game, Kim Min-seok struck a decisive blow that shook Hanwha starting pitcher Jang Min-jae. In the top of the first inning, he hit a dominant home run as the leadoff hitter. In the ball count 2-1, Jang Min-jae’s 135 km/h fastball was driven to the middle, and he did not miss it. His valuable debut home run in 29 games of his first team debut became the final four that led the team to victory.
When Kim Min-seok opened the water, Lotte began to score as if the clogged blood was pierced. As predicted before the game, coach Sutton played baseball in which he let runners run on base and squeezed out one run. On this day, Lotte scored 7 points by getting 13 hits and 7 four balls.
At the beginning of the first inning, Han Dong-hee threw a sacrifice fly to center fielder and ran away 2-0. In the top of the 5th inning, Ahn Kwon-soo got on base with a hit after two outs, stole second base, and Ko Seung-min struck a right-handed hit to widen the distance to 3-0. In the top of the 6th inning, Noh Jin-hyeok hit a superior home run, virtually putting a wedge in the win.먹튀검증
Even after his debut four, Min-seok Kim added two more hits and had his third three-hit game only in May. In the top of the 6th inning, he hit an infield hit next to the second baseman, and in the top of the 9th he hit a right-handed hit, showing off his peak sense of hitting.
Rex is still in a situation where it is difficult to say for sure when he will be able to return to the ground. Director Sutton said, “I don’t know exactly how long it will take to recover. First of all, I will erase it from the entry for 10 days and watch it.”
In the fight for the lead, the injury of a foreign hitter is obviously a bad thing, but as Min-seok Kim showed that day, even if the rest of the players take turns doing their part, Rex’s vacancy can be filled to some extent. Can Lotte overcome this hurdle and use it as an opportunity to rise to the next level as a stronger team?