Bullpen relievers stand out in close game…lead Samsung to come-from-behind win

The Samsung Lions snapped a two-game losing streak with a strong pitching relay from their bullpen.

Samsung snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 40-1-56 with a 6-4 come-from-behind victory over the Doosan Bears in the 10th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Monday.

Until midway through the game, the victory was far from assured. Four solo shots came from Jose Rojas in the fourth inning, Jose Pirela and Kim Jae-hwan in the fifth, and Koo Ja-uk in the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Yang Seok-hwan’s RBI single gave Doosan a 3-2 lead.

Although starter Won Tae-in left the game after giving up three consecutive runs, Samsung would not go down without a fight, as the bullpen kept the game close. In the bottom of the seventh, Woo Gyu-min gave up a single to Lee Yoo-chan in the second inning, but the next batter, Jeong Soo-bin, struck out the side to end the inning.

After Kim Sung-yoon’s RBI single in the top of the eighth tied the game at 3-3, Samsung sent Lee Jae-ik to the mound in place of Woo Kyu-min in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff single by Jung Soo-bin, a sacrifice bunt by Kim Jae-ho and a grounder by Rojas put runners on second and third, and the Samsung bench opted to go with Kim In-tae instead of Yang Seok-hwan.

At this point, the Samsung bench called up Kim Tae-hoon instead of Lee Jae-ik. This season, Kim Tae-hoon had a higher batting average against lefties (0.291) than he did against righties (0.277), but given that Kim In-tae had a .309 batting average against lefties last year, the switch was timely. The result: a strikeout. Kim Tae-hoon put all five pitches in play, striking out In-tae Kim.메이저놀이터

Then, in the top of the ninth, the Tigers capitalised on their opponents’ errors to score three runs, and reliever Oh Seung-hwan preserved the lead. Although he gave up a run on a sacrifice fly by Kim Min-hyuk after a bases-loaded walk, he managed to minimise the damage.

The bullpen has faltered sharply since June, and the team’s lack of backbone has cost them a lot of games, but there are glimmers of hope, with Oh Seung-hwan gradually finding his feet. Now it’s up to Samsung to keep the momentum going.

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