It was a rare sight indeed. LG veteran Kim Hyun-soo (35) laid down a sacrifice bunt. It was the first time in 16 years since 2007 with Doosan, when he was in his second year as a professional.
Kim first attempted a sacrifice bunt on Sept. 22, 2007, for Samsung Electronics. He didn’t have a sacrifice bunt until last year. In the Samsung-LG game at Jamsil Stadium on Sept. 13, Kim Hyun-soo recorded his second career sacrifice bunt after a whopping 5743 days.
LG fell behind 0-1 in their game against Samsung at Jamsil Stadium on the 13th thanks to an infield error in the middle innings. In the seventh inning, leadoff hitter Oh Ji-hwan doubled and scored on Lee Jae-won’s sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.
In the eighth inning, Kim Min-sung drew a walk. He was replaced by Jung Ju-hyun. Kim Hyun-soo came to the plate with the bases loaded. On the mound was left-hander Lee Seung-hyun.
Kim Hyun-soo was retired on a fly ball to center, a grounder to the first baseman, and a grounder to the third baseman. As soon as Lee threw the first pitch, Hyun-soo got into a bunt stance and calmly laid down a sacrifice bunt toward third base.
The third baseman caught it and threw to first for the out. The bases were loaded. Then, with runners on first and second, Oh Ji-Hwan hit a single to left field to give the team a 2-1 lead and the win.
Coach Yoon Kyung-yeop said after the game, “It was a plan. I instructed him to bunt,” said Yeom after the game. Instead of setting up for a bunt in advance to increase his chances of success, he laid down a sacrifice bunt like a surprise bunt when the pitcher was about to throw.
While Kim had tried to bunt when there was no leadoff hitter or runner on base to break the opponent’s defense shift 먹튀검증 (a shortstop or third baseman moves between first and second base, with only one infielder to the left of second base), this was the first time he was instructed to bunt from the bench with a runner on first base. Sports TV commentator Oh Jae-won, who was covering the game, said he felt “chicken pox”.
LG failed to capitalize on two bases-loaded opportunities in the second and fifth innings. With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, manager Yoon Kyung-yeop ordered Moon Bo-kyung, who had seven RBIs in the game, including a grand slam against Hanwha on Dec. 12, to lay down a sacrifice bunt to tie the game.
In the eighth inning, with the bases loaded and the game tied at one run apiece, Yeom also ordered a sacrifice bunt for Kim Hyun-soo. He called for an unfamiliar play to score a run and increase his chances of winning. It was the second sacrifice bunt of Kim’s career in 1863 games and 7917 at-bats. He executed it calmly, and it became a stepping stone to victory.
“I knew how Hyun-soo felt when he did it, so I knew I had to save it,” said Oh Ji-hwan, who hit the game-winning hit. I wanted to capitalize on the opportunity.”
Kim Hyun-soo had been in a severe slump since May, batting in the teens. As a result, Yeom did not play him against Gochuk Kiwoom on June 6-8, and he tried to restore his batting balance through training.
Kim returned to the lineup against Daejeon Hanwha on Sept. 9-11 and showed signs of life, going 5-for-13 with a .385 batting average. To win the decisive game, Kim laid down a sacrifice bunt, something he had only done once before, 16 years ago. The bunt was successful and the team won, giving everyone a reason to smile.