The exhibition game that can measure the performance of professional baseball this year is flowing interestingly. The main characters are Samsung Lions and Hanwha Eagles. Now, each team has only played 6 games, but they are doing better than expected and are rebelling against the ‘two-weak’ evaluation.
On the 19th, Samsung won a 4-1 victory over KT Wiz in the 2023 professional baseball demonstration game held at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu. Samsung, who caught both of the weekend’s two consecutive matches against KT, harvested its fourth victory in this year’s demonstration game.
On the mound, starting pitcher Albert Suarez’s reverse pitch shone. Suarez, who entered the second year of the Korean league, blocked the KT lineup with 5 hits and no runs in 4 innings, although Park Byeong-ho and Kang Baek-ho were excluded from the starting lineup.
What caught my attention more was the firepower. On this day, Samsung’s other lineup scored 12 hits, with Jose Pirella, Oh Jae-il, and Lee Won-seok reporting hits evenly, including Kim Jae-sang, who harvested two RBIs with multi-hits.
The highlight was Lee Seong-kyu’s outstanding performance, who also launched a home run gun that day. Substituted after center fielder Kim Hyeon-joon, he hit a huge double that hit the wall in the middle left in the first at-bat in the third inning, and added a single in the second at-bat in the fourth inning. At the end of the 6th inning, he pulled out a home run as if he hadn’t had enough with multiple hits. It was a large-scale solo shot that hit opponent pitcher Shim Jae-min’s fastball as it was and went over the wall.
Lee Seong-gyu, who hit a home run in the previous game, took the lead in this category by recording his third home run in the exhibition game 메이저놀이터 through his performance that day. He also continued the unique record of home runs made by all substitutions.
Coincidentally, it was Hanwha that was evaluated as ‘2nd weak’ with Samsung ahead of this season that it shared the second place with Samsung, which caught a series of weekend games. Although they were caught by Kiwoom Heroes at home on this day and ended their winning streak, the recent momentum is as good as Samsung. It was a car that had been on a three-game winning streak by defeating KT and Kiwoom in a row until just before the defeat that day.
What is encouraging is the pace of the pitching staff. Moon Dong-ju and Kim Seo-hyun are representative examples. The two, who were in their second and first year as pros respectively, left a mark on the coaching staff with their excellent physical condition from the spring camp in Arizona, USA.
Even after entering the exhibition match, the momentum of the two did not break. Their power was clearly revealed in the Kiwoom match the day before. Moon Dong-ju, who came to the mound as a starter, received a passing grade by tying Kiwoom hitters with 4 hits and 1 run in 3 innings. The solo home run allowed by Lee Jung-hoo was teetering on the pitch. Next it was Seohyun Kim’s turn. Kim Seo-hyun, who was put in at the beginning of the 7th inning, cleanly organized one inning with two strikeouts and no runs with a fastball.
On the other hand, LG held the Lotte Giants 5-2 on the day and took the lead. Lee Min-ho fought hard with 2 runs in 4 innings. The KIA Tigers defeated the Doosan Bears 8-1 thanks to Yang Hyeon-jong and Lee Eui-ri’s good fight, and the NC Dinos won a 4-3 victory over the SSG Landers with a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Oh Young-soo.