The Korean Baseball Organization’s leading team, the LG Twins, has been having a rough patch lately. They’ve lost five games in a row, starting on April 9 against the Lotte Giants.
The losing streak wasn’t long, but the duration was. Between the rainy season and the All-Star break, they went a whopping 18 days without a win.
Against the KT Wiz on the 26th, the team suffered a 12-inning extra-inning loss in a hemorrhage of pitchers in the bullpen. The team’s mood was down.
“We should have won yesterday,” LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop said before the game against KT at Katie Weeds Park in Suwon on Sunday, indirectly hinting at the team’s mood.
LG went into the game against KT in a desperate situation. They were half a game behind second-place SSG Landers. There was nowhere to turn.
The LG players were well aware of the situation. Outfielder Moon Sung-ju (26) was one of them.
“We went into the game with the idea that we had to stay in first place,” Moon said.
The game was fiercely contested. LG scored six runs in the top of the third inning to take a big lead, but a shaky mound allowed them to rally.
LG had a chance to get back in the game in the top of the sixth inning with a 6-4 lead. Shin Min-jae singled and Hong Chang-ki walked to put runners on first and second.
However, the next batter, Moon Sung-joo, hit an infield grounder against reliever Park Se-jin. It was an unfortunate play.
Moon felt guilty, but he didn’t hang his head. Instead, he threw his whole body into the fight.
He gritted his teeth in the bottom of the sixth inning when Ahn Chi-young hit a big shot to left field.
“I thought, ‘I can’t miss this,'” he said.
Throwing his whole body, Moon caught the pitch. It was so hard, he couldn’t 스포츠토토 overcome the inertia and slammed into the fence.
Even though he was worried about injury, he held on to the ball as he fell to the ground.
“All I could think was that I had to hold on to it,” he said.
Luckily, Moon got up and made it to the dugout without any major injuries.
Moon’s focus and determination to win was remarkable. After LG’s bullpen collapsed on defense in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the game at 6-6, the team had runners on first and second in the top of the eighth.
The next batter up was Moon Sung-joo. “I was worried because it was the same situation as the one I hit in the sixth inning,” he said, “so I just went into the at-bat with the idea of swinging confidently.”
Moon hit two forked balls off KT pitcher Lee Sang-dong. The count was 1 ball, 1 strike.
Sang-dong threw another forkball, which Moon gently pulled away as if he’d been waiting for it and hit a grand slam to left field.
Moon, who had a serious look on his face throughout the game, was all smiles.
Relying on Moon’s offensive prowess, which included three hits and one RBI in five at-bats, LG defeated KT 9-6 to snap a nasty losing streak.
After the game, Moon was all smiles as he fielded questions from the media.
“Although we hadn’t won for a long time, our players were aware that LG was strong,” he said. “We thought we would end the losing streak today, and we will not let go of the top spot.”