It was too much. The fixer-upper was missing, and even the steady defense faltered. The Steel Magic’s faithful baseball eventually became poison.
Park Byung-ho, starting at first base in Game 5 of the best-of-seven 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Korean Series against the LG Twins at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday, went 0-for-3 with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts and watched LG win the title with bitterness.
His first at-bat was a walk. However, it wasn’t due to Park’s ability, but rather a wild pitch from LG starter Casey Kelly. With runners on second and third, Park drew a straight line drive off Kelly to put runners on second and third, but Jang Jang-woo followed with a grounder to shortstop that was stranded.
In the bottom of the third inning, trailing 0-3, he lined a three-pitch slider from Kelly to first base, but couldn’t get a good contact and retired on a fielder’s choice.
My third at-bat was the most frustrating.
Still down 0-3, I had runners on first and third in the fifth inning. It was a great opportunity to put some pressure on the opposition, but instead, I faced Kelly and struck out on a futile three-pitch at-bat. After watching the first-pitch strike, he swung powerlessly at a fastball and a slider, putting cold water on the rally. KT narrowly scored their first run on a wild pitch in the next at-bat, but that didn’t silence Park Byung-ho.
Byung-ho Park would not respond. Trailing 2-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning, he struck out again against reliever Ham Deok-ju, sending him to the dugout bitterly.
Unlike the batting slump, even the defense, which had been steady, faltered. In the bottom of the first inning, 온라인카지노 he caught Hong Chang-ki’s grounder and threw out Ko Young-pyo at first base, and in the top of the third inning, he made a throwing error on Kim Hyun-soo’s grounder.
Park Byung-ho hasn’t been a fixer since the last playoffs. He started all five playoff games against NC as the No. 4 hitter, but went 4-for-20 with one home run and two RBIs. In those 20 at-bats, he struck out seven times and walked twice, with his only hit coming in Game 3. He made up for it with a bases-loaded single in the sixth inning of Game 5, which tied the game at 2-2.
The Korean Series also didn’t have any major upsets.
Lee Kang-cheol, who had been trusted with the No. 4 spot in the batting order, went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 1 and 1-for-4 with one strikeout and one run scored in Game 2. Prior to Game 2, Byung-ho Park’s postseason batting average was a dismal 1-for-14 (4-for-28).
Park showed signs of resurgence in Game 3, batting fourth again and going 2-for-5 with two RBIs, including a game-tying two-run homer off Ko Woo-seok. Unfortunately, his eighth-inning blast was overshadowed by Oh Ji-hwan’s game-winning three-run homer in the ninth, and he was again silent in Game 4, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts.
As a result, Lee Kang-cheol’s faith in Park Byung-ho to continue batting No. 4 ended in failure. Not only did the No. 4 hitter fail to deliver a game-winning hit, but the KT lineup, which had fallen into a serious slump, also had to hang its head in shame as the offense continued to be lethargic throughout the series. Park Byung-ho struck out a whopping eight times in the Korean Series alone.
KT lost one game to LG and then four in a row, denying them their second championship in two years. The 2023 Korean Series will be remembered as a nightmare for Park Byung-ho.