Baseball is a team sport. Just because one player is good doesn’t guarantee victory.
However, in the world of professional baseball, there are times when one player’s performance is absolute. The KBO League is a long-term race with 144 games per team. Sometimes, there are games where the percentage of players who are the main players in the victory is very high.
At Sajik Stadium on the 18th, when Lotte beat KIA 7-5, 메이저놀이터the power of shortstop Noh Jin-hyeok was absolute. Noh Jin-hyeok hit Sean Anderson’s 135 km slider from first base unscathed in the bottom of the second inning and hit a superior two-run home run. It was the first taste I felt after transferring to Lotte. Lotte took a 2-0 lead.
In the bottom of the 3rd inning, Jeon Jun-woo’s solo home run was followed by Ahn Chi-hong’s left-handed double, and Lotte continued the atmosphere.
Lotte’s happiness did not last long. It turned around 4-5 while giving up 5 runs only in the beginning of the 5th inning. However, at the end of the 7th inning, Jeon Jun-woo’s sacrifice fly to the right field tied the score at 5-5, and An Chi-hong went out with an automatic intentional 4th pitch, continuing the opportunity. Noh Jin-hyeok hit a right-handed double at the right time in the 2nd runner-up chance, and with two runners scoring, Lotte was able to turn around 7-5. Lotte won 7-5, and Noh Jin-hyeok exploded with 3 hits, 5 RBIs and 1 run in 4 at-bats, becoming a hero of victory.
It was Noh Jin-hyeok’s performance that really fit the expression of ‘beating the drum and hitting the janggu’. Without Noh Jin-hyeok’s bat, Lotte might not have taken the first point, made a runaway score, or won’t be able to turn around again.
It was a match where it would not be an exaggeration to say that Lotte bought one win through FA shopping. Lotte signed Roh Jin-hyeok, who came out on the FA market after last season, for a total of 5 billion won over 4 years. While reinforcing the center line, which was Lotte’s fatal weakness, they tried to increase the probability of victory by recruiting hitters with high-level accuracy and long hitting power.
Noh Jin-hyeok was well aware of his team’s expectations and moved quickly to adapt to the team. Even at the time of spring camp, Noh Jin-hyeok, who was satisfied with Lotte’s team atmosphere, said, “I don’t like an atmosphere that is too free, but I personally liked that there was an organized atmosphere.” Isn’t this the responsibility of a veteran and an FA transfer student? Through this process, he was able to smoothly adapt to Lotte, and now he naturally plays the role of a key player leading Lotte’s victory.