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Invincible Byung-Hyun

Posted August. 31, 2001 08:43,   


Manager Bob Brenly directed pitcher Bret Prinz to intentionally walk Barry Bonds in 2-0 eighth with two out and a runner on second base. Prinz is the pitcher who had played as a credible closer until July.

The runners are on the first and the second, and thus a homer may blow out the slim lead. Moreover, although he has been weaker than Barry Bonds, next hitter Jeff Kent is also a slugger who is four-time National League MVP.

As if following the scheduled plan, Manager Brenly picked up the new card, Kim Byung-Hyun, who became a team`s new closer. Without being overwhelmed by Kent, Kim Byung-Hyun (22, Arizona Diamondbacks) threw four strikes just right into the zone to pop up Kent, so that he easily escaped the critical moment. As Kent continued to fail to properly attack Kim`s torpedo-like pitches, which went beyond foul line, Kent became so embarrassed.

In the ninth, Kim grounded out J. T. Snow and a pinch hitter Edwards Guzman, and he captured himself the ball hit by last hitter Benito Santiago to retire him. Kim threw just nine pitches to close out the ninth inning.

`Submarine made-in-Korea`, Kim Byung-Hyun earned his 15th save (4 wins and 3 losses), which is his career new record in game with San Francisco Giants yesterday, with 10 straight no-ER games.

As he succeeded to save two games in a row, Kim lowered his ERA from 2.66 to 2.61. And he took the mound in 64 games in total this year, and he tied with the pitcher`s most game participation record in the history of the team.

The Arizona was once chased 2.5 games by the San Francisco. But as the Arizona increased the lead over the second place team to 4.5 games with the win, it reserved the postseason ticket. On the other hand, the third place LA Dodgers lost to the Colorado Rockies 3-5 again, and the defeat increased the difference from the Arizona up to 5.5 games.

Meanwhile, Louis Gonzales of the Arizona blasted his 50th home run in the fifth leading 1-0. With this home run, he became the 19th Major Leaguer in history to hit the golden number 50, chasing Barry Bonds (56) and Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cups (52).

Zang Hwan-Soo zangpabo@donga.com