Despite calling Jamsil Stadium, the largest stadium in the country, home, he was the home run king with 44 cannons. However, he has been on a steady decline, and this season he has been extremely thirsty for long balls.
That made it all the more exhilarating. Kim Jae-hwan (35, Dusan Bears) made manager Lee Seung-yeop smile with a blast.
Kim batted sixth and started in left field in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against the Hanwha Eagles at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a walk, a hit, a stolen base, two RBIs and a run scored, including the game-winning home run, to lead the Bears to a 4-1 victory.
Kim, who had just three home runs this season and a 49-game hitting drought, hit a 137-kilometer fastball from Jang Min-jae with one out in the bottom of the first inning that cleared the right-field fence with the score tied 0-0. The pitch arched so perfectly that it looked like a home run the moment it hit.
It was his first home run in 14 games, 20 days, and 50 at-bats since the Kiwoom Heroes on March 17. It was a big blow for Doosan in the early innings as Jang Won-jun pitched a great game.
Manager Lee Seung-yeop was probably waiting for this home run as much as Kim Jae-hwan himself. Lee, a former home run king, took over the reins ahead of the new season and saw Kim’s rebound as the premise for rebuilding the Doosan dynasty.
However, Jae-hwan’s performance was disappointing. Up until that day, he was batting .245 with three home runs, 16 RBIs, and an OPS of .727. Lee cracked the whip, hoping for a wake-up call. Kim Jae-hwan, who had been Doosan’s steady No. 4 hitter in recent years, had recently undergone a batting order change and was batting sixth on this day, and perhaps that was the impetus, as he blasted a home run.
After the game, manager Lee Seung-yeop praised Kim Jae-hwan’s home run, saying, “In the batting lineup, Kim Jae-hwan’s home run was decisive.” For Lee, who has been worrying a lot lately, it was a shot that helped him sleep with his legs stretched out.
After the game, Kim Jae-hwan said, “I felt very sorry for the fans because I couldn’t contribute to the team’s victory, as I had been playing badly.” He was desperate. “Before training today, I asked Coach Goto for a special at-bat,” he said.메이저놀이터
Kim Jae-hwan knows how much coach Lee Seung-yeop cares about him despite his long slump. “That’s why I want to get better as soon as possible,” Kim said. “My only goal is to show my manager, coaching staff, teammates, and fans a good face. I will definitely repay the fans who came to the ballpark during the holidays.”