“바카라There was an emotional feeling at the end of the game.”
The captain came up big in the win. He thanked his teammates for tying the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, then hit the game-winning double in the top of the 10th. On defense, the Golden Glove shortstop calmly handled balls and led the infielders.
LG’s Oh Ji-hwan went 2-for-5 with a game-winning double against Doosan in Jamsil on April 29. LG beat Doosan 7-6 in 10 innings to extend its winning streak to three games. Their season record is 52 wins, 33 losses and two ties. They maintained a 2.5-game lead over second-place SSG.
Here’s what Oh and the media had to say after the game.
-I think we made a worthy victory in a difficult match.
I felt very emotional at the end of the game. Seeing my brothers sacrifice themselves made me want to win so badly. Early on, (Heo) Do-hwan made a difficult sacrifice bunt for his brother. Then in the 10th inning of extra innings, (Kim) Hyun-soo made a sliding double. It was touching to see him sliding because he thought it was our last chance to win, so when I came up to bat, all I could think about was how to capitalize on the opportunity.
LG’s Kim Hyun-soo is all smiles as he high-fives Oh Ji-hwan after the game against Doosan in Jamsil on May 29. Photo | LG Twins
-It was good to score runs, but in the end, I think we won the game because of our defense. We had an error-free game, and I think we’ve found our form again after a losing streak and a winning streak.
It definitely reminds me that baseball is a game of mood. During the losing streak, every little mistake felt like a big deal. We lost a game that we could have lost, but it was so frustrating and hard. So when we’re winning, we try to focus and not make more mistakes.
-You made a big trade today. How does it feel as a player?
I’ve never been traded, so I don’t really know what it’s like to be a traded player. But I think it’s definitely a win for the team. I think this is the reality of the professional world.
And as a result, I think it could be a great opportunity for (Lee) Joo-hyung and (Kim) Dong-gyu, who were our younger players. Kiwoom is a team that gives a lot of opportunities to young players, so I think it will be good for their future.
Actually, when I heard about the trade today, I came to the ballpark earlier than usual. I wanted to come and see Joo Hyung-i. When I met him, I was very emotional and depressed. But Joo Hyung-i is a friend with a lot of good things. Just like (Kang) Jung-ho and (Kim) Ha-sung went to the United States, I think Joo-hyung can go too. I told him, ‘You will be able to do well unconditionally. You can do 30-30 later,’ and I encouraged him. I also called (Lee) Hyung-jong and (Kim) Hye-sung in Kiwoom and told them that the players who were on our team would be great.
LG’s Oh Ji-hwan speaks to the media after the team’s win over Doosan in Jamsil on Monday. Jamsil | By Yoon Se-ho firstname.lastname@example.org
-We also have high hopes for the newcomer Choi Won-tae. You mentioned that Choi Won-tae is close to Oh Ji-hwan.
That’s right. He was a member of the Asian Games and we went to the training center together. He’s a fun guy. He’s a junior who I’ve been in contact with a lot, so I’m sure he’ll continue to take care of me and help me. He’s a very good baseball player, so we’ll talk a lot and eat a lot to help him fit into the team.
-LG struggled against Choi Won-tae this year. Won-tae Choi’s velocity actually increased in the second half of last year, so did you notice a difference when you faced him as a hitter?
I asked Won-tae once because the ball was getting faster. He said he made some changes. Now that I’m at LG, I hope my fastball will be even faster.
-We’re in first place now, and we have a good starting pitcher in Choi Won-tae. As a player, I wonder if it will give me more motivation to win.
It definitely does. As the season went on, I realized that when you’re on a losing streak, you really need a good starting pitcher. When you lose three or four games in a row, it’s easier to break the streak if you have a good starter. It doesn’t have to be a foreign pitcher. Other teams had pitchers like Ahn Woo-jin and Koo Chang-mo, and now we have them.
This year, (Im) Chan-kyu did a good job, and now that he’s here, we’re down to one of the last five spots. I hope the young pitchers will compete fiercely for this spot. Like you said, I don’t want them to think that because they are the top pick in the first round or the second round, they will get a spot. I hope someone who is really good will get the fifth spot.
LG’s Oh Ji-hwan high-fives coach Lee Jong-beom after hitting a walk-off home run in the seventh inning of the 2023 KBO League game against KT at Jamsil Baseball Stadium on July 6. Jamsil, July 6, 2023 | Choi Seung-seop email@example.com
-There have been many seasons where we have struggled against Doosan. But since last year, we’ve been dominating, and we’ve won a lot more games this year. How do the players feel about that?
It just seems like there are years when things go well and years when they don’t. We’ve had seasons where we were even with Doosan, seasons where we lost, seasons where we lost big. Then last year, we pulled ahead. This year, I think the tide is turning in our favor.