Hanwha third baseman Noh Shi-hwan (23) was hitting like a man possessed in 33 games of the season (131-for-47) with eight home runs, 21 RBIs, and a 1.055 OPS against Munhak SSG on March 13. His batting average, home runs, and OPS all led the league and he was on pace for an MVP-caliber performance.
However, no one knew that his hitless streak, which began in the fourth inning of the seventh game, would last 43 at-bats. Until the sixth inning of the 24th game against KIA, Noh hadn’t produced a hit in 43 at-bats. This included eight consecutive games without a hit. He drew seven walks during that span, but went 36 consecutive at-bats without a hit.
Before the game, Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said, “Yesterday (23rd), he also drew two walks. In the batting department, Si-hwan said he doesn’t have a bad batting balance, so we’ll have to wait and see,” he said, adding, “Commentator Lee Dae-hyung said he was close to breaking his own record.” SPOTV commentator Lee Dae-hyung, who traveled to Daejeon to broadcast the three-game midweek series between KIA and Hanwha, had the same experience during his playing days.
Lee went 43 consecutive at-bats without a hit in 11 games, from his first at-bat against the Doosan in Jamsil on July 21, 2010, to his fifth at-bat in the ninth inning against KIA in Gwangju on August 5, 2010, while playing for LG. In between, he struck out six times with five walks and one hit-by-pitch, but had previously been silent for 35 consecutive at-bats.
Choi Won-ho, who worked with him during his time in the LG, said, “I asked Lee Dae-hyung, and he said that it’s better for a player to stay in the game even if he keeps going hitless. He told me from experience that if a player is really tired, he will ask to be taken out first. It’s okay to see Sihwan practicing. Just wait a little bit and the hits will come.”
In 2010, then-LG manager Park Jong-hoon started Lee in nine of the 11 games he went hitless. Eventually, Lee’s streak ended at 43 at-bats when he broke the long silence with a double to left-center field in the first inning of the Jamsil Samsung Electronics game on Aug. 6 of that year. Noh Si-hwan also didn’t miss a single game during his hitless streak. Coincidentally, Noh’s hitless streak also ended after 43 at-bats on the same day as Lee’s broadcast.
In the KIA game, Noh struck out on a grounder to shortstop in the first inning and a fly ball to center field in the fourth, but the quality of his at-bats was good. He drew a walk in the sixth inning, and in his final at-bat in the ninth inning, he finished off the long tunnel with a home run. He pulled a 140-kilometer fastball high in the zone from KIA closer Jung Hae-young over the left field fence. It traveled 120 meters and was his ninth home run of the season. A huge smile spread across his face as he was congratulated by his teammates.메이저놀이터
Noh’s 43 consecutive hitless at-bats is tied for the fourth-longest in history with Lee Dae-hyung and last year’s Kim Heon-gon (Samsung). First place is the 51 at-bats of current LG manager Yoon Kyung-yup, who played for Pacific-Hyundai from Sept. 5, 1995, to Aug. 23, 1997. Second is NC’s Son Shi-heon’s 48 at-bats from October 6, 2014 to April 11, 2015. In third place are OB’s 47 at-bats from July 12, 1983 to August 6, 1983 against Guduk Lotte.