‘For everyone who has, more will be given and they will have an abundance, and from the one who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.’안전놀이터
American sociologist Robert Merton called the phenomenon in which people who already have a lot of social and material capital tend to achieve social and economic success the ‘Matthew effect’, from Matthew 25:29 in the New Testament.The pro baseball match between LG, the top team, and Kiwoom, the bottom, held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 13th was a clear example of this effect. LG defeated Kiwoom 17-8 in the home room and won 5 consecutive wins. On the other hand, Kiwoom fell into a four-game losing streak.LG celebrated its 5th consecutive win with 3 home runs by Park Dong-won at the end of the 2nd inning, Austin at the end of the 3rd inning, and Hong Chang-ki at the end of the 8th inning. Hong Chang-ki, who was the only hitter without a home run among the 30% hitters who filled the required number of at-bats before the game that day, marked the end of the day with a home run that was the best of the season.
Hong Chang-ki said, “I am grateful that the fans seem to like it more than me. I wanted to hit a home run, but I tried not to pay attention. It seems that the balls that could have been passed became double hits or hits that hit the fence,” he said.
This season, Hong Chang-ki ranks first in the league in on-base percentage (0.450), first in runs scored (80 points), second in doubles (28), third in batting average (0.330), and third in hits (121).
LG’s captain Oh Ji-hwan was replaced with Jung Joo-hyeon due to pain in the front of his thigh from the beginning of the 3rd inning defense, but thanks to the generous score difference, the vacancy of the starting shortstop was not revealed too much.
The moves of the two teams are clearly different after the trade on the 29th of last month.
LG, which ranks first in both team ERA and team batting average and has plenty of pitching resources, has hitter prospect Lee Joo-hyung nominated for the 2nd round of the 2020 rookie draft and tall (195cm) pitcher Kim Dong-gyu nominated for the 17th pick in the 2nd round of the 2023 rookie draft. Won-tae Choi, a native starting pitcher with an average ERA in the 3-point range, was obtained.
After the trade, LG ran 12 wins and 2 losses, including 7 consecutive wins, the team’s most this season. The ride with second place SSG also increased from 2.5 games on July 30 to 6 games. On the other hand, since the trade that actually raised the ‘white flag’ in the game this season, Kiwoom is walking downhill with 1 win and 13 losses until today, including losing 8 consecutive losses.
Of course, Kiwoom was also a trade that paid off long-term benefits. Immediately after the trade, in the baseball world, there were many eyes concerned about LG’s impatience for giving away hitter Lee Joo-hyung, who was evaluated as ‘sure to explode’ if given a chance. Lee Joo-hyung also hit 2 homers only in August after the trade, and was recording an OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) of 0.928 in August before the match.
Of the hitters on the lineup that day, Kiwoom had only one 30% hitter, Kim Hye-seong, who filled the required number of at-bats. This was the reason Lee Jung-hoo needed batting resources with long hitting power like Lee Joo-hyung for the next season, when he challenges the Major League Baseball (MLB).
However, Kiwoom had no choice but to stand out from the mound that he did not have that day. Kiwoom, who had not been able to find an alternative starting resource because Ace An Woo-jin was eliminated from the entry for physical fitness, made Kim Dong-gyu, who had only 2 runs in 1/3 innings (1 earned run) as a starting pitcher.
Kiwoom coach Hong Won-ki said, “It may be cruel, or it may be a burden as a young player, regarding Kim Dong-gyu’s debut match against his parent team LG. But rather, when those fearful feelings turn into confidence, the energy will increase.” However, newcomer Kim Dong-gyu, who had his first start in his debut at Jamsil Stadium filled with nearly 20,000 spectators on the weekend, came down the mound after allowing 5 runs, including 2 wild throws that resulted in runs in 2 innings.On the other hand, Lim Chan-gyu, who received only 13 goals, was enough to post 9 wins (2 losses) in the season with 5 runs in 5 innings. Kiwoom recorded hits for all starting batters, but the light faded after the extra energy of the game.
At the end of the 3rd inning, Kiwoom was behind 2-5, and tried to continue the chase by raising Yanghyun. However, in the third inning, the LG lineup pushed Yang Hyun with five hits in a row, starting with a solo shot by Austin, the fourth batter, and Lee Jae-won, the eighth batter. Yang Hyun took the first out count with an infield fly to hitter Park Hae-min at number 9, but the score had already widened to 2-8.
As the defense time got longer, Kim Hye-seong, who was a regular in the hohobi film, also made a mistake. The first batter Hong Chang-ki missed a ground ball from second base, and the crisis with the first base loaded continued. In the end, LG scored 4 more points with Shin Min-jae’s infield hit, Kim Hyun-soo’s sacrifice fly, and Austin’s timely hit, widening the score to 10 points (12-2) in the third inning.
Lee Jae-won, a promising player LG is working hard to nurture, also played an active part in two consecutive games, including the previous day’s game, with multiple hits. Lee Jae-won, from the first at-bat of the day, made a neat right-middle hit, stole second base with a stolen base, went to third base in the subsequent wild throw of the opposing pitcher, and then stepped on the groove with a double steal while Hong Chang-ki stole second base. He participated and shook opposing pitcher Kim Dong-gyu.
In the second and fifth at-bats that followed, Lee Jae-won, who made a huge hit that fell in front of the left fielder, played an active role with 3 hits, 2 runs and 2 RBIs in 4 at-bats. It was the first 3-hit game in about three months since the game against KT in Jamsil on May 16th. Lee Jae-won said, “In the beginning, his older brothers all hit well and tried to catch up, so it seems that it didn’t work out even better. My older brothers are my older brothers, and I try to go as it is, as it is,” he said.
Lee Jae-won, who had not yet reached his full potential as a right-handed Geopo prospect and was constantly requested to trade from other clubs, laughed at the feeling of seeing Lee Joo-hyung’s performance after the trade, saying, “As everyone knows, it’s subtle.” It seems appropriate to go (to the game). I will continue to prepare as I am now, and I will try to seize the opportunity when it comes.”
In the Sajik home game, Lotte won the KIA 6-1 with starter Barnes giving up 1 run in 7 innings (without an ERA) and ‘Salvation Duo’ Seung-Min Koo and Won-Joong Kim pitching scoreless.
KIA Sanchez, who had a starter match against Barnes that day, failed to receive even a single point even after 5 innings and 1 run, and became a losing pitcher.
On the other hand, Hanwha Sanchez won 6 wins of the season with 3 runs in 6 innings against Doosan at home.
Doosan couldn’t turn the game around and lost 3-8 after starter Choi Won-joon was knocked out early as he allowed 4 runs in 1 1/3 innings. Yang Seok-hwan fired the 17th gun of the season, but the defeat faded.
Leading the season with most wins (15 wins) and leading ERA (1.96) NC Peddy suffered 4 losses in the season with 3 runs (1 ERA) in 5 innings against Suwon KT. KT led the 4-0 victory with a good pitching of 6 scoreless innings by the starting pitcher. 3rd place KT widened the game gap with 4th place NC to 2 games with the victory that day.
In literature, the home team SSG won two consecutive victories by beating Samsung 4-0 with starting pitcher Kim Gwang-hyeon’s 7 scoreless innings. Samsung Widener, who was the first starting pitcher after being released from NC last month and changing his uniform to Samsung, became a losing pitcher with 4 runs in 6 2/3 innings.