LG Kim Hyun-soo recorded a sacrifice bunt in 5743 days. A scene I hadn’t shown since I was 19. Both the coach and the captain of his juniors sympathized with how he put a bunt instead of a full swing.
The LG Twins won a 2-1 come-from-behind victory against the Samsung Lions in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on the 13th. The score was given first in the 5th inning and it was dragged up to the 6th inning, but it was tied in the 7th and the lead was taken away in the 8th. With Go Woo-seok at the helm of the 9th inning, he kept one point and won the victory. In the process, Kim Hyeon-soo made a sacrifice bunt for the first time since 2007, giving Oh Ji-hwan a chance to make the final shot.
Kim Hyun-soo’s sacrifice bunt is the first in 16 years and 5743 days since the Samsung War on September 22, 2007, when he was 19 years old. 15 years, 8 months and 21 days alone.
It was an unlucky day, if unlucky. Kim Hyun-soo was hitless in three at-bats before waiting for his surprise sacrifice bunt that day. He was caught with a floating ball by center fielder in the first inning when there were no runners on two outs. In the third inning, he was out on a ground ball to first baseman with two outs on first and second base. In the 6th inning, the pushed ball almost became a hit, but third baseman Kim Young-woong caught the ball with concentration until the end even though he was caught in reverse action.
In the midst of this, LG managed to tie the score in the 7th inning, and took a chance to turn around in the 8th inning. After batting second Kim Min-seong picked out a walk, Kim Hyun-soo created a chance to finish with a sacrifice bunt.
The process to reach the finish line was not smooth. 4th hitter Austin Dean hit a ball deep to the shortstop, but Lee Jae-hyeon of Samsung succeeded in handling the ground ball with his strong shoulder. Samsung skipped Park Dong-won with an automatic intentional 4th ball and chose to play with Oh Ji-hwan. Opposing left-hander Lee Seung-hyeon, Oh Ji-hwan pushed his first pitch and made a timely hit that pierced the shortstop and slipped out of the infield.
If the finish line had not come out here, the meaning of Kim Hyun-soo’s sacrifice could have faded. Ganggong may have produced better results. However, one sacrifice bunt by Kim Hyun-soo seemed to have left LG with more than one win. Coach Yeom Kyung-yeop praised after the game, saying, “Kim Hyun-soo showed his will to win through play.”
Oh Ji-hwan, the protagonist of the final stroke, said, “I knew how (Kim) Hyeon-soo hyung would have put (bunt) like that, so I thought I had to save it.”안전놀이터
Kim Hyun-soo fell into a deep slump from May. He was placed in an unfamiliar situation where he was in the starting lineup every day and just watched the game. He was even criticized for being greedy to participate. Kim Hyun-soo, who had endured quietly, gave the team a victory in an unexpected way.