‘Scene Stealer’ Baek Jung-hyun’s Perfect Challenge that no one expected

In the professional baseball game on the 18th, Kang Hyo-jong (21, LG), Moon Dong-ju (20, Hanwha), and Jang Jae-young (21, Kiwoom), who joined the starting rotation from this season, drew attention as they started side by side. However, there was another main character that caught the attention of fans across the country at once on this day. It was Baek Jeong-hyeon (36), a veteran of the Samsung team, who made only two losses with a 7.71 ERA in two appearances this season.

Jang Jae-young was the first to fall out of the ‘Young Gun Trio’ who appeared in public attention. Jang Jae-young started the match with the Samsung hitters with a fast ball of over 150km per hour that day, but after the opening, he was still caught in the anxiety of the ball. Jang Jae-young, who left a sense of disappointment with 3 runs in 4 innings in his first appearance of the season, gave up 5 walks in 2 1/3 innings and gave up 6 runs in his second appearance, and was put down.

Kang Hyo-jong of LG appeared to be on the mound in the top of the 5th inning with a 2-1 lead and won the victory pitcher requirement. However, Kang Hyo-jong was also caught on a walk. Kang Hyo-jong was replaced after giving up two walks with the last two outs.

Moon Dong-joo, who officially recorded the first professional baseball speed of 160 km/h in the previous pitching, struck out on a swing with a fast ball of up to 159 km/h. However, he did not meet the requirements for a winning pitcher as the score was 0-0 until he came down the mound after throwing 98 pitches, and Hanwha also lost 0-2 to Doosan that day.

○ Baek Jeong-hyeon threatened ‘pro baseball’s first perfect’ by appearing indifferently

When all the main characters of ‘Trailer’ left the mound, Baek Jung-hyun, who no one paid attention to, began to show off his presence. Until this day, Baek Jeong-hyun was in a position where even the starting position was threatened. Regarding Baek Jeong-hyeon, who had been sluggish since the exhibition game, Samsung coach Park Jin-man did not hesitate to openly rebuke him, saying, “If you throw like now, you can’t call it a fourth starter.” Coach Park was also preparing an alternative selection card in preparation for Baek Jung-hyun’s prolonged slump.

Baek Jung-hyun’s fastest ball speed on this day was only 138km per hour, but he took away the timing of Kiwoom hitters with changing pitches such as sliders, changeups, and curves, and did not allow a single hit or throw until the 7th inning. Even Lee Jeong-hoo, the ‘best hitter’ in professional baseball, was treated as a ground ball all three times. The Samsung batting line also supported Baek Jung-hyun’s record challenge by scoring 6 points up to the 3rd inning.

However, it was not Kiwoom’s bat that broke Baek Jung-hyun’s perfect march, but rather his own ‘glove’. After getting one out in the 8th inning, when the opposing batter Russell hit a grounder in front of the pitcher, Baek Jung-hyun reflexively held out his glove. The ball hit the glove and the shortstop quickly threw it to first base, but Russell’s foot was quicker and the ball was treated as an infield hit.

Even after the perfect march was broken, Baek Jung-hyun, who had not changed his expression, ended the 8th episode by inducing a double stroke. Up to this point, the number of pitches was only 90, so he was able to aim for a shutout victory. However, the aftermath of the broken Perfect came out in the ninth episode. In the ninth inning, Baek Jung-hyun gave up doubles and triples to Kiwoom’s 7th and 8th batters Kim Dong-hyun and Lim Byeong-wook in a row, and came down the mound after conceding one run. The Kiwoom batting line, which was tied to Baek Jeong-hyun, continued the chase by driving 5 hits and scoring 4 points, but could not overturn the game. Samsung eventually won 6-4.

Baek Jung-hyun, who became the winning pitcher with 3 hits, 6 strikeouts and 2 runs in 8 innings, said, “It has been a dream since I was young to play a perfect game. Since he had always been simulating, he pitched consciously from the third inning. He said, “I was able to concentrate more with the thought of ‘I’m lucky today’ after seeing a lot of hitting balls go to the front of the fielder.” Although the record was broken in the 8th inning, Baek Jung-hyun said calmly as usual, “I was able to finish the inning easily because I thought I should play well with the next batter rather than regret it.”

In Jamsil, NC defeated LG 6-4 after 10 overtimes and took first place with 10 wins (5 losses) in the season. NC ran 3 consecutive wins, and LG suffered its first consecutive loss this season. SSG, which held first place until the match, lost 2-4 to KT and fell into a three-game losing streak. Lotte started out with Park Se-woong, who was sluggish with 5 runs (4 earned) in 4 and 2/3 innings. KIA, which fell to the bottom, fell into a five-game losing streak.


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