Doosan Bears coach Lee Seung-yeop trusted the Bears’ No. 4 hitter again. However, Jae-hwan was unable to fill the void left by Yang’s absence. Doosan dropped back to fifth place in the league after the weekend series in Luzhou.
On August 6, Doosan lost to the KT WIZ in Jamsil by a score of 1-3. The loss dropped Doosan to 47 wins, one loss and 44 ties on the season and left them in fifth place, a game behind third-place NC Dinos and fourth-place KT.
Doosan started the game with their “homegrown ace” Kwak-Bin on the mound. However, there was a change in the starting lineup. Starting catcher Yang Yang-ji was unable to play due to side pain.
On the day, Doosan faced KT starting pitcher Ko Young-pyo with a starting batting order of Jung Soo-bin (center fielder), Kim Jae-ho (shortstop), Jose Rojas (right fielder), Kim Jae-hwan (left fielder), Kim In-tae (designated hitter), Yang Seok-hwan (first baseman), Kang Seung-ho (second baseman), Jang Seung-hyun (catcher), and Heo Kyung-min (third baseman).
Manager Lee Seung-yeop met with reporters before the game on the 6th and said, “Yang Ji was dropped from the starting lineup due to side pain. It seems that he felt uncomfortable in the swinging process at the plate the day before, along with the after-effects of tonsillitis. I don’t think it will be difficult for him to play as a pinch-hitter today, and he will undergo a medical examination tomorrow (July 7).”
It was also noticeable that Kim Jae-hwan, who had been out of the starting lineup for the past two days, immediately returned to the No. 4 spot.
Lee said, “Every baseball player knows how hard he works. I’m the one who’s frustrated because I’m not performing. Shutting up won’t make it better. It’s better to just relax and watch from behind. I was hoping for a rebound because (Yang) was out, so Jae-hwan will have to do it from today.”
However, Jae-hwan did not live up to Lee’s expectations. In the bottom of the first inning, Kim stepped to the plate with runners on second and first and struck out on three changeups from Ko Young-pyo. In his second at-bat to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, Kim fouled off a full-count grounder to the third baseman.
Down 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning, he had a chance to score. Kim stepped to the plate for the third time with runners on first and second in the bottom of the sixth, but instead of a hit, he hit a grounder to the first baseman. In his final at-bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, Kim flied out to right field on a foul ball against the new pitcher, Park Young-hyun.
While Kim Jae-hwan went 0-for-4, the Doosan bats were also stymied by the opposing starter, Ko Young-pyo. Aside from the one run that came on a wild pitch, Doosan was unable to threaten at all and had to settle for a 3-1 loss.
After going hitless in his last five games, Kim Jae-hwan’s batting average has dropped to .227 for the season. This season, Kim Jae-hwan is having one of his worst batting seasons since breaking into the first team with a .227 batting average, 65 hits, 8 home runs, 33 RBIs, a .337 slugging percentage, and a .360 on-base percentage in 88 games. This is especially shocking since he hasn’t had a season with a triple-digit batting average since the 2015 season.
That said, Kim is not a player who lacks effort, which only adds to the confusion. The aging curve is a bigger problem, but Lee still has a lot of faith in him. Instead of sending him to the second team, he hopes to revitalize his hitting by giving him regular playing time in the first team.토스카지노
“Jae-hwan hit a three-run home run to tie the game in the opening game, which was one of the most impressive home runs for our team this season,” Lee said, “and when I saw it, I wondered if he would rebound immediately this season.
Of course, we can’t wait for Kim to rebound forever. Lee believes the time to make a move is with about 20 games left in the season. There are about 30 games to go. He needs to regain his form within that timeframe. After all, Doosan will only be competitive in the fall if Kim Jae-hwan comes back to life.