The LG Twins’ leadoff man and KT Wiz’s No. 4 hitter: whose bat will strike first?
LG and KT split Game 1 and Game 2 of the Korean Series (KS) on July 7-8. In Game 1, KT’s Moon Sang-chul hit a game-winning double with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, and LG’s Park Dong-won hit a game-winning two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning after trailing 3-4 in Game 2.
LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop and KT manager Lee Kang-cheol are waiting for their offensive spark and fixer to come through. KT’s Park Byung-ho batted fourth in the lineup in both Games 1 and 2, going 0-for-8 with two strikeouts. Including the playoffs with the NC Dinos, he has only one long ball (a double) in seven postseason (PS) games.
Park has the most PS experience of any KT hitter, but including his two KSs with the Kiwoom Heroes, his career KS numbers are just .156 with one home run and three RBIs in 12 games. In his 19th year as a pro, he has yet to lift a trophy.
He is especially excited to face his hometown team LG in this KS. Park was drafted by LG in 2005 with the first overall pick. However, he was traded to Nexen (now Kiwoom) in July 2011 as an ‘unfinished business’. After changing uniforms, he became one of the best home run hitters in the KBO, winning the home run title six times and the RBI title four times.
Park Byung-ho, who joined KT as a free agent last year, was strong in the regular season this year, batting .352 with 13 RBIs in the LG League. That’s why manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said, “We have to be careful with Park Byung-ho and the platoon.”
Park struck out with runners on first and second in the fourth inning of KS’s 1-2 loss in Game 1 on April 7, and hit an infield grounder with the bases loaded in the first inning of Game 2 the next day. He didn’t show any signs of being a workhorse. Park’s struggles are even more pronounced as the next two hitters, Jang Jang-woo (0.429) and Choi Byeong-dae (0.500), are flying for KS. If Park Byung-ho can hit some long balls, KT’s offense and team chemistry will improve. 무지개토토 도메인
LG is waiting for Hong Chang-ki’s “batting instinct” to awaken. Hong has been one of the best leadoff hitters this season. In 141 regular-season games, he ranked fourth in batting average (0.332). He also led the league in on-base percentage (0.444), ranked first in runs scored (109), third in hits (174), and 11th in stolen bases (23), leading LG to its first regular season title in 29 years. He also drew the most walks in the league in 2021 and this year.