LG batting lineup strong even without Oh Ji-hwan and Park Dong-won…victory gift to new transfer Choi Won-tae

“I think Choi Won-tae can get more wins in the second half than he did in the first half (six).”

LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop said this before the first start of ‘transfer student’ Choi Won-tae (26) on the 30th. It wasn’t a mere ‘prediction’, but more of an ‘analysis’ that it was possible given Choi’s performance this season and LG’s strong offense.

And from the first game, the LG bats came out swinging and gave Choi the victory. Of course, Choi Won-tae pitched a perfect game that lived up to expectations, but the ‘hot support’ from the batting lineup, which was different from his former team, was impressive.안전놀이터

LG rode the power of a 12-hit batting lineup to a 10-0 victory over Doosan in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Tuesday.

The game marked the “LG debut” of Choi Won-tae. Choi Won-tae, who was acquired via trade the previous day (29th), played his first game in an LG uniform.

“If Choi Won-tae can play his role well, I think we can win more than seven games in the second half of the season,” said Yeom before the game.

Choi Won-tae has been one of the more unlucky pitchers in Kiwoom this season. He pitched well with a 3.25 ERA in 17 games before the transfer, but his win-loss record was 6-4.

The lack of run support was one of the reasons. In 17 games, Choi received just 4.57 runs per nine innings. That’s 12th worst out of 20 pitchers who pitched at least nine innings. On two occasions, the bullpen blew the game despite being the winning pitcher.

However, LG, where Choi Won-tae was transferred, is a different story. They are a powerful team that leads the league in both batting average and runs scored. They also lead the league in team ERA and have a strong bullpen that includes Park Myung-geun, Ham Deok-ju, Jung Woo-young, and Ko Woo-seok.

Yeom’s rhetoric was both a vote of confidence in LG’s current offense and hope for Choi Won-tae.

Coincidentally, both were true in Choi’s first start.

On this day, LG took their starting shortstop Oh Ji-hwan and starting catcher Park Dong-won out of the lineup to rest them. Instead, Son Ho-young played shortstop and Heo Do-hwan was the catcher.

Despite the absence of two starters, LG’s bats were strong. They scored two runs in the first inning on Moon Bo-kyung’s RBI double, and added a run in the third on Hong Chang-ki’s RBI single two batters later.

In the third inning, Son Ho-young and Park Hae-min hit RBI singles and combined with an opponent’s error to score five runs. When Choi Won-tae took the mound at the end of the third inning, the score was already 8-0.

The light-hearted pitcher was as good as ever, throwing a perfect game until the bottom of the fifth inning. The offense added a single run in the fifth and sixth innings to make it 10 runs, completing the batting order.

Before the move, Choi received less than five runs per nine innings, but in his first start in an LG uniform, he received 10 runs in just six innings. He didn’t have to worry about anything in the dugout, and he was able to relax and get the win.

Although it was only one game, it was a glimpse of LG’s power and Yeom’s confidence. With Choi Won-tae at the helm, LG can only get stronger in the future.

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