“It’s a shame that one call can change the flow of a game and make the difference between winning and losing.”안전놀이터
Kiwoom Heroes head coach Hong Won-ki did not hide his frustration with the inconsistency of ball calls.
Kiwoom dropped its second straight game on Wednesday, losing 3-5 in the 13th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the LG Twins at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul. The team’s record fell to 42 wins, 3 losses and 60 draws (0.412), and it remains in last place in the standings.
After surrendering three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Kiwoom immediately battled back. After two walks and a hit loaded the bases in the top of the sixth, Kim Hye-sung narrowed the gap with an RBI single, and after LG switched pitchers from Casey Kelly to Kim Jin-sung, they added two more runs on a Ronnie Dawson push single and a Song Sung-moon sacrifice fly.
With the score tied at 3-3, Kiwoom looked to pull off the upset, but Kim Hui-jip struck out swinging with runners on first and third, and the next batter, Lee Ju-hyung, struck out as well. In particular, Lee Joo-hyung, who battled Ham Deok-ju on a full count, expressed his disappointment that a six-pitch slider was called a strike on a full count. After failing to pull off the upset, Kim Hyun-soo’s two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning put the game out of reach.
At the time of Lee’s call, there was no movement on the Kiwoom bench. “I think I missed the timing a little bit, and if the player had made a clear gesture, I would have jumped right away,” Hong Won-ki said before the LG game on the 12th, adding, “That was a little decisive in a way.”
In fact, Lee was not the only one. In the bottom of the sixth inning, LG’s foreign hitter Austin Dean was ejected for protesting a call in the strike zone, and both teams were unhappy with the umpires’ calls throughout the game.
Manager Hong Won-ki said, “I think there are more situations like that this year. Of course, I know that the umpires are trying their best to make accurate calls, but it’s a bit unfortunate that one call can change the flow of the game and make the difference between winning and losing. One of the challenges of the field is that the zone keeps changing depending on the batter and the pitcher. It’s hard when it happens at a crucial moment,” he confessed.
Major League Baseball is considering changing the system so that video judgment can be used in the future. “It’s a bit unfortunate that a machine is coming into a human sport,” says Hong. If it is introduced for accuracy or fairness, I think it is a positive thing.” “Again, if there is inconsistency, players are human beings and emotional animals, so they may feel deprived or empty. It’s unfortunate that it’s all part of the game,” he said.