For the 12 billion outfielders who believe “batting second is better”, autumn baseball dreams are more important than batting first

“Koo Ja-ook, batting first!”

A fan shouted out in a friendly manner to Koo Ja-rook (30-Samsung Lions) as he was being interviewed after the game. Koo smiled when he heard it.

Koo started in right field as the No. 3 hitter in the visiting Doosan Bears’ 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League game at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on 9 September and went 2-for-3 with a solo home run, one walk, one RBI and one run scored to lead his team to a 6-4 upset victory.

Raised his batting average from 0.333 to 0.337, further separating him from second-place Guillermo Heredia (SSG-0.332) and cruising toward his first career batting title.

Koo, who joined Samsung in 2012 after graduating from Daegu High School, has since established himself as the franchise’s franchise star, hitting .349 in his rookie year in 2015 after moving up through the ranks. Ahead of last season, he earned the trust of the club by signing a five-year, 12 billion won contract, the highest amount for a non-free agent (FA).

But after hitting just .293 with five home runs and 38 RBIs last year, he gritted his teeth and prepared for this season, and it’s paying off. He is on his best pace since 2018.

He tuned up his senses in the fourth inning with a single to right off Raul Alcantara, who was also struggling, and then in the sixth, he smashed a massive 128-metre home run over the deepest centre-field wall in Jamsil Stadium off Alcantara’s main weapon, a splitter.

This allowed Samsung to doggedly chase down Dusan, tying the game in the eighth and scoring three runs in the ninth to complete a dramatic comeback.

It was especially nice to see a home run after 11 games. “It was an unexpected home run. In fact, I thought it was caught as soon as (Chung) Su-bin hit it because he was following him so well, but I think it was caught by the wind.”

While the home run was certainly a welcome one, Koo had a slightly different take on the home run total. “I really want to hit more doubles than home runs,” he said, “I said that I think two doubles is a home run, and I’m really thinking like that. I don’t get a lot of good pitches because I’m greedy, because a home run is a home run if it’s hit in the centre anyway. There were a lot of pitches that hit the fence, so I think it’s just luck.”

“If you’re lucky, you get a few more home runs, if you’re not, you get a few less,” he said, adding, “That’s why I want to get a lot of hits, I want to get a lot of doubles.”

Practising to clear his mind “I don’t think I’m in too good of shape and I don’t think I’m in too bad of shape, so I try not to get too attached to the outcome,” he said. “Every day I think, ‘I might not be able to hit because the opponent is a good pitcher,’ but I try to think, ‘Today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow,’ and I think, ‘Let’s put it down, let’s put it down.

Only thinking about the team “I realised once again that I’m much happier to win a match when my juniors do well than when I do well,” he said, adding, “The players are working so hard and the atmosphere is really good. The coach has created a great atmosphere in the second half, so the players are really showing a lot of energy.”토토사이트

Park Jin-man said that Samsung, like KT Wiz, could be on the upswing, but Koo Ja-uk said, “Baseball is a game where you never know what’s going to happen. We can win 10 games in a row, 20 games in a row, so I think the most important thing is not to give up until the end. Even if we are at the bottom of the standings, we have to try to win somehow so that we can make some kind of rebound.”

With the win, Samsung reached 40 wins (56 losses and one draw). They are tied for last place with the ninth-placed Kiwoom Heroes without a win. They also closed the gap on the fifth-placed Doosan Bears to single digits. Samsung’s miraculous autumn is rallying around Guzauk.

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