Kiwoom Heroes’ Lee Jeong-hoo properly showed the role of ‘fixer’. The thrilling home run that led the team to 4 consecutive victories was a scene that showed that the real hero is ‘Lee Jung-hoo’.
Kiwoom won 2-0 against Gocheok KIA Tigers on April 16th. Kiwoom, who achieved 4 consecutive victories with this victory, maintained a tie for 4th place with Doosan Bears with 7 wins and 6 losses in the season.
The aspect of the game that day was a pitcher match between the two teams. KIA starter Yang Hyeon-jong made 7 innings, 3 hits, 9 strikeouts, 3 runs and no runs, and Kiwoom starter Choi Won-tae continued the march of ‘0’ with 4 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 run and no run in 8 innings.
KIA went to base with a hit after two outs in the top of the ninth inning, but Choi Hyung-woo’s hit was a straight hit to the first baseman, swallowing up the disappointment. At the end of the 9th inning, Kiwoom also had to play an overtime game with Kim Tae-jin stepping back with a fly ball to center fielder at the chance of 2 out 1st and 2nd base made with a hit and a walk.
It was Kiwoom and Lee Jung-hoo who put an end to the boring march of 0. At the end of the 10th inning, Kiwoom went on base with a left-handed hit by Lee Hyung-jong against pitcher Kim Dae-yu, who changed after one out. Lee Jung-hoo then hit Kim Dae-yu’s 130km/안전놀이터h slider on the 6th pitch and hit a 2-run home run with a distance of 120m. It was Lee Jung-hoo’s second arch of the season and his second career home run record.
Lee Jeong-hoo, who met with reporters after the game, said, “I thought it was a situation where a long hit was needed because the pitcher battle continued. He waited until the end for a mismatch, but he was fortunate that he hit the last ball well without missing it. I wanted to get (Lee) Hyung-jong to get his brother into the home through long hits, but the best result came out,” he was satisfied.
This season, as of the 17th, Lee Jung-hoo played in 11 games and recorded a batting average of 0.238 / 10 hits / 2 homers / 9 RBIs. His batting average of 30% is a somewhat unfamiliar batting average number for Lee Jung-hoo, who was the same as the basic option. Of course, the saying that batters who will come up will come up can be fully applied to Lee Jung-hoo. As director Hong Won-ki said, worrying about Lee Jung-hoo is also a useless worry.
Regarding the somewhat awkward batting average numbers at the beginning of the season, Lee Jung-hoo said, “In fact, the sense of batting balance itself is not bad. However, it is true that it is not easy to raise the batting average because the opposing pitchers have a difficult game. To be honest, this is the first time I’ve felt this way. When I was young, I always felt that good hyungs were behind me, trying to fight me head-to-head. Now, rather than hitting a bad ball, I need to pick it out as best I can and connect it to good hitters behind me.”
As Lee Jung-hoo showed signs of coming back to life, the team also started to run on a winning streak after a losing streak. Lee Jung-hoo still has 131 games left.
Lee Jung-hoo said, “Every year, our team has a long losing streak at the beginning of the season like a routine. The strength of our team is that the atmosphere is the same whether it is a losing streak or a winning streak. I want to keep winning for a long time when I am in such a good mood. For the rest of the game, as captain, I will lead the team atmosphere well and show good performance.”