Samsung Lions’ Koo Ja-rook, 30, showed a relentless determination in a game he knew he was going to lose, showing why he is the captain and franchise star.
Samsung lost 2-3 in 10 extra innings against SSG in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday.
Samsung, which had won its second straight game with a 5-4 victory the previous day, was unable to continue its winning streak and dropped back to ninth place with the loss.
The game was decided in the bottom of the 10th inning. Oh Seung-hwan came on to pitch. He got off to a shaky start by giving up a leadoff single to Choi Ji-hoon. He then gave up a sacrifice bunt to Ahn Sang-hyun. After Choi walked on an automatic fourth pitch, Oh Seung-hwan battled Park Sung-hwan to a 10-pitch count. The bases were loaded. Choi struck out Kim Sung-hyun to put out the flames, but then got into another 10-pitch battle with Han Yoo-seom. This time, he gave up a single to right field.
Here’s what happened next. Right fielder Koo Ja-rook rushed out to catch the ball and throw to first base, but first baseman Kim Ho-jae was not covering the base and was heading for the third base dugout. Koo couldn’t make the catch, and he was seen on the replay pointing his finger toward the first baseman, seemingly reprimanding him for not completing the play.
Even if Kim Ho-jae had stayed on the base and Koo Ja-rook had made the throw right away, it would have been difficult to get him out because the ball landed in front of the right fielder and Han Yoo-seom had also run to first base.
Still, Koo’s persistence is admirable.
Gu plays with a lot of responsibility. The team’s performance has been consistently at the bottom of the standings. More recently, he was named Samsung’s captain, succeeding Oh Jae-il.
He was sidelined for about a month when he suffered a right hamstring injury on June 3 against Hanwha in Daejeon. He recovered faster than expected, returning at the end of the first half.
He made up for his absence with some crazy hitting. He had an 18-game hitting streak from July 22 against KT to his multi-hit game today.
His batting average has risen vertically, and he has finally broken through to the top of the batting order. At this rate, he could win his first batting title.메이저놀이터
The Guzauk effect helped the team rebound. Including this game, Samsung went 10-1, tied 8-8, and had a winning percentage of 0.556. Their team batting average is 0.317, which is the best in the league.
Even the manager was surprised. “I was really surprised, and I said, ‘When did we get to No. 1?'” Park Jin-man laughed, “The team’s batting lineup has been active since Guzauk came back, and (thanks to his performance) the other players seem to be in a good mood. It’s like the Guzauk effect. He has done a good job in the center of the order.”
The resurgent Koo has been revitalizing Samseong with his offensive prowess.