It couldn’t have been a more perfect performance for Ha-Sung Kim (28, San Diego Padres) on his return from bruises. The only disappointment was the team’s loss.
Kim started at shortstop in the No. 8 spot in the lineup for the San Diego Padres’ 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) visit to the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, N.Y., on Monday (28 July), going 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
His batting average rose slightly to .239 (37-for-155) from .237 on the season, but he was unable to celebrate as the team lost 2-3 after he hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the 10th inning of extra innings.메이저놀이터
Kim steady as ever, bruises only take one game to heal
On the 26th, Kim went down after being hit in the left knee by his own pitch against the Washington Nationals. The pain was excruciating, and Kim told a local US media outlet, “It was really painful. At first, I thought the worst,” he said.
But his body was stronger than he thought. After being helped off the field by trainers, Kim was diagnosed with a simple bruise on an X-ray and had to sit out the game against the Yankees on the 27th, but returned the next day.
In the seven years he played in Korea, he never had a major injury. He played 891 games in seven years, 831 since 2015 when he made the jump to the main team, an average of 138 games per year, which shows how strong his body is and how consistently he takes care of himself. It was no different in the US.
“What we lack in offence, we make up for in defence.” The local assessment was spot on, Hosseini Heat.
On this day, it was the defence that shone. Before the game, Kim was batting .237. His OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) was 0.698, not exactly a productive hitter. Major League Baseball Trade Rumours (MLTR) gave him an average wRC+ of 97 and a hard-hit rate of 22.3 per cent, both of which ranked near the bottom of the league, but said, “As a second baseman, and more recently as a third baseman in place of the injured Manny Machado, he provides a lot of defensive value to San Diego, so these numbers can be forgiven.”
Since returning to action, Kim has proven that assessment correct. In the bottom of the first inning, with runners on first and third, D.J. LeMahieu hit a double down the left-field line that was relayed to left fielder Juan Soto. After racing to the outfield to retrieve the ball, Kim made a strong throw to the catcher to stop the runner at first base and recorded an automatic tag to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, he quickly chased down a ball that almost sailed out of the outfield by leadoff hitter Aijaea Kainer-Palepa, spun around and threw to first base to erase the runner. Starting pitcher Michael Waka was in awe and thanked Kim.
A shining presence at the plate… but the team lost in extra innings
To the dismay of the local media, Kim also made his presence felt at the plate. In his first at-bat in the third inning, he struck out swinging, but in the top of the fifth inning, he drew a walk.
In the top of the seventh, with runners on first and second, Kim hit a 151-kilometre sinker from reliever and Yankees starter Michael King for a three-and-out to bring home the second baseman. As the ball sailed home, Kim dug in at second base and celebrated with a jubilant gesture. A 2-1 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Kim stood out defensively again. After making a bare-handed catch of a ball that hit the pitcher’s glove, but the throw was too late to extend the out count, Kim made a strong throw to first and second to end the threat.
Kim was stranded at second on a grounder to second base in the top of the ninth, and the teams headed to extra innings. San Diego was unable to score in the top of the 10th inning with runners on first and second and a walk to Palepa in the bottom of the 10th to fall to 2-3.
With a 24-28 record, San Diego remained in fourth place in the National League (NL) West, seven games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers.