Pittsburgh Pirates Bae Ji-hwan (24) could not smile during the match between Korean and Japanese major leaguers against Japanese major leaguer Seiya Suzuki (29) of the Chicago Cubs.
Bae Ji-hwan started as the first hitter and second baseman in the 2023 Major League Baseball away game against the Chicago Cubs held at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois, USA on the 20th (Korean time) and performed poorly with 0 hits in 4 at-bats and 2 strikeouts. Bae Ji-hwan’s season batting average was 0.236. On the other hand, Suzuki, who played as the Cubs’ fourth hitter and right fielder, performed well with 3 hits in 4 at-bats (1 home run), 1 RBI, 2 runs, and 1 walk, causing mixed emotions among Korean and Japanese big leaguers.
Bae Ji-hwan struggled against Cubs starting pitcher Javier Assad. Bae Ji-hwan struck out on a cutter on the 5th pitch with the ball count of 2-2 in his first at-bat in the 1st inning.안전놀이터
Bae Ji-hwan, who started as the leadoff hitter in the top of the third inning, took the situation to his advantage by picking off three consecutive balls, but with the ball count of 3-1, he hit a sinker on the fifth pitch and was out with a grounder to first base.
Bae Ji-hwan, who appeared as the leadoff hitter in the top of the 5th inning, played a full count that went all the way to 6 pitches and hit a sinker on the high course on the 6th pitch. The batted ball flew a distance of 358 feet (about 109.1 m), but was caught by center fielder Cody Bellinger in front of the left-center wall.
In the top of the 8th inning when Pittsburgh was down 1-6, Ji-Hwan Bae again appeared as the leadoff hitter of the inning. Against Cubs reliever Mark Reiter Jr., Bae Ji-hwan played a cautious game that went all the way to the 6th pitch. With the ball count of 2-2, Reiter Jr. threw a cutter on the 6th pitch, and the ball went outside the strike zone. However, after a while, the referee raised his hand and declared a strikeout. Ji-Hwan Bae had to retreat to the dugout, expressing his disappointment. Bae Ji-hwan appeared as the leadoff hitter in all four at-bats, but did not reach base even once.
While Bae Ji-hwan was silent, Suzuki, who played as the Cubs’ fourth hitter, showed off his hot batting skills. In his first at-bat in the bottom of the first inning, Suzuki, who got on base with a walk after a full-count game, failed to advance on base due to a missed follow-up hit.
Suzuki, who took his second at-bat in the bottom of the third inning with one out and no runner on base, hit a slider on the third pitch against Pittsburgh starting pitcher Quinn Priester with the ball count at 1-1 and hit a solo home run that went over the center fence. It was the 19th home run of the season and the 6th home run in September.
Once Suzuki’s bat was on fire, it did not cool down easily. With two outs and no runners on base in the fifth inning, Suzuki targeted Priester’s 96 miles per hour (approximately 154.5 km) sinker near the body and completed a multi-hit game with a heavy hit.
In the bottom of the 7th inning, with 2 outs and no runners on base, Suzuki, who was hit for the 4th time, hit Priester’s slider again and made a big hit, but the ball flew 402 feet (approximately 122.5 m) and was caught by the center fielder in front of the fence.
Even when the game was heavily favored by the Cubs in the bottom of the 8th inning, Suzuki’s bat did not rest. With one out and no runner on base, Suzuki hit a double after a full count against Pittsburgh reliever Jose Hernández, completing a three-hit game. Afterwards, he hit home on Jared Young’s triple and even scored.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh lost 1-14, giving up 8 runs in the 8th inning alone, as the mound was completely destroyed by the Cubs’ batting lineup. Meanwhile, the Cubs, who broke their five-game losing streak by beating Pittsburgh, recorded 79 wins and 72 losses (a winning percentage of 0.523) and maintained the National League wild card cutoff (3rd place).