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Big Blow Saves Lee’s Prestige

Posted March. 23, 2004 23:34,   


“Asia Homerun King” Lee Seung-yeop (28-years-old, Chiba Lotte Marines) disgraced himself by having the most strike outs in the league but slammed his first homer for the home fans in the last exhibition game.

At the home game against the Yakult Swallows at Chiba Marine Stadium on March 23, Lee, starting as the fifth hitter and the first baseman, appeared as the first hitter of the second inning and hit a solo homer over the center field fence, taking on starting pitcher Ishido. It was a long-distance homer of 125m.

Lee advanced to first base with a walk and scored on Tachikawa’s homer in the fourth inning, popped up to center field in the fifth inning, struck out in the seventh inning, and was replaced on defense in the eight inning.

With this, Lee averaged 0.222, with three homers, seven RBIs, and seven runs scored during the exhibition games, not meeting the expectation of the “Korea National Hitter.” In addition, he was first in the Pacific League in strike outs with 16. In both leagues combined, he was second behind “17-year-old Super Rookie of Hanshin Tigers” Toritani (17 strike outs)

However Lee showed his consistent slugging power with three homers, one double, and one triple out of 10 hits.

In contrast, his rival for the first base position, Fukuura, averaged 0.255, the team high among regular hitters, hit three homers, and knocked in 14 RBIs, including a winning homer on that day, keeping a step ahead of Lee. Fukuura’s 14 RBIs was tied for second in the league.

Lotte won the victory with a 6-3 score by homers from four hitters including Lee and Fukuura, accomplishing a winning percentage of 0.500 with seven wins and seven losses.

Hwan Soo Zang zangpabo@donga.com