“He’s greedy. You seem to be in a hurry…” 3 crucial kills in 2 days → 1 disgraceful kill, ‘MVP candidate’ → ‘step down’

August 15, 2023 | by

The Samsung Lions traveled to Incheon after a sweep of LG in Daegu and a 1-1 series with Doosan. They won the first game on the 11th against second-place SSG Landers. They won 5-4 with a no-hitter in the ninth inning.

Expectations grew for a winning series against the second-place SSG after the first-place LG.

However, they couldn’t keep the momentum going.

On the 12th, they came back from a 2-1 deficit after Baek Jung-hyun’s six innings of one-run ball, but lost 2-3 in the 10th inning after Han Yoo-seom hit the game-winning hit.

In the final game, on the 13th, they lost 0-4. The ostensible reason for the loss was that new outfielder Widener (4 runs in 6⅔ innings) was outpitched in the return matchup against SSG Kim Kwang-hyun (no-hit in 7 innings). In the end, Samsung dropped the dominant series and returned to Daegu in disappointment.

A closer look at the two-game losing streak reveals that the team’s No. 1 batting lineup was a bit lackluster in the late innings at crucial moments.

At the center of it all was Jose Pirela. He was the main culprit who poured cold water on crucial moments. Over the course of two days, he hit three wickets at crucial moments to break the deadlock.

Game 12 against SSG. Tied at 2-2 in the top of the 10th inning. Samsung took advantage of a leadoff walk.

Pirela batted fourth. He was unable to bunt to the fourth batter.

Pirela looked like he was going to bunt, but then he launched his trademark powerful swing. Seo consistently threw forkballs. Swinging wildly at the first pitch. Second-pitch ball. The umpire’s hand went up on the third pitch, a forkball that looked slightly high. 1B2S. Four pitches later, he pulls a low pitch and hits it for a double in front of the shortstop. It was a moment that would prove to be crucial.

Pirela’s streak continued on the 13th.

Trailing 0-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Ryu Ji-hyuk led off with a single to right. It was the first leadoff hitter to reach base.

One out later, Pirela came to the plate. After shaking off a slider for a first-pitch strike, Pirela pulled another two-pitch changeup from Kim Kwang-hyun. He flied out in front of the shortstop to end the inning.

Down 0-3 in the top of the seventh. After throwing 91 pitches in the sixth inning, it was doubtful that Kim would be able to finish the seventh.

After giving up a walk to Kim Hyun-jun in the bottom of the sixth, he squatted down on the mound and told the umpire, “I’m tired,” when asked about his condition. In fact, he pitched twice a week in day games. It was physically exhausting.

The leadoff hitter, Koo Ja-rook, realized the situation and walked. It was the second leadoff hitter of the game.

Sensing the seriousness of the situation, the coaching staff visited the mound. Pirela batted fourth.

After letting an initial slider strike slip by, Pirela pulled hard on a 143-mph fastball for a second pitch. The ball hit under the bat and was heavily bound for the third baseman. Choi quickly rounded second base to complete the double play. It was Pirela’s second hit of the game. As Kim Kwang-hyun’s face lit up with a smile, Samsung’s last hope was gone.

Before the game, Samsung manager Park Jin-man recalled the situation of Pirela’s bottle-necked hit the day before, saying, “Seo Jin-yong has a lot of balls, so I was approaching the game by watching the ball well in a one-run game, but I think I was too greedy (to solve it).” “I thought it would be difficult because I missed a lot of forked balls in the first inning,” he said. “Pirela tends to be aggressive with runners on base, but I think he was in a rush because his numbers are down from last year in a lot of ways,” he said of his struggles at the plate.

Pirela is just 2-for-7 this season. He’s been killing chances with a lot of pulls and one-sided swings. That’s why his pushing hits have dropped significantly.

His 16 kills are the most in the league. He’s on pace to surpass his 19 last year. His power has dropped significantly from last year, when he batted .340 with 28 home runs and 109 RBIs and shared MVP honors with Ki Sung-hoo.

This season, he’s been a mediocre 2-for-8 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs. He’s on pace for a career low after three seasons in the KBO. 토토사이트

There is an opportunity cost to playing Pirela. Kim Sung-yoon, who has been hitting well of late and has been useful for days, weeks, and months, is being benched.

In many ways, Pirela’s rebound is desperately needed. He could easily become a ‘too good to use, too bad not to use’ player.


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