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A Big Night for Korean Major Leaguers

Posted April. 30, 2004 21:07,   


Fans of the Boston Red Sox warmly applauded Kim Byung-hyun when he took the mound in the first inning as well as when he left it and returned to the dugout in the fifth inning after successfully finishing his pitching as a starter.

Although he insulted the franchise’s fans by showing his middle finger in Game 3 of last year’s division series with the Oakland Athletics, they forgave him.

Kim pitched powerfully as if he had never been on an injury rehabilitation assignment. While his fastest pitch was only 89 miles per hour, or 143 kilometers per hour, in the game, his curve ball was flying in serpentine fashion. His dynamic and swiveling balls silenced the Tampa Bay Devil Rays hitters.

His pitching was impeccable, allowing one hit and two strikeouts in five scoreless innings. After Kim left the mound after throwing 70-some pitches, David Ortiz sealed the victory for the Red Sox with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. The final score of the Red Sox versus the Devil Rays game was 4-0.

“Instead of being alert to the reaction from the bleachers, I cared about throwing well as a starter,” Kim said. “My condition was the best since I moved to Boston. I threw as freely as I intended.”

Seo Also Rises—

Seo Jae-weong, who has been chewing gum in the dugout as if he wanted to chew away his anxiety, finally no longer needs to make a stiff face. His first win of the season has finally come after a long wait.

Seo Jae-weong held the Los Angles Dodgers to one run and six hits over 6 1/3 innings in the New York Mets 6-1 victory. He finally found his prey to end his three consecutive losses and to lower his ERA to 5.06 from 6.60.

Seo, who was demoted to the minor league after giving up 15 runs to the Dodgers in two pre-season games, can not afford to be mediocre to stay in the Big Leagues. With the win yesterday, he got rid of his anxiety.

Sad Park—

Park Chan-ho gave up runs to the Kansas City Royals, the American League’s weakest team, in every single inning he threw. Whenever the Texas Rangers scored, Park gave a run back to the Royals. In his 4 1/3 innings pitched, he allowed seven hits, two walks and six runs (four earned runs). His non-game deciding pitching led to a rise in ERA to 5.64.

The Rangers reversed the 6-7 score with two homers in the ninth inning. They pulled out a victory 9-7, keeping its top spot in the American League with 13 wins and nine losses.

Still Big Choi—

Choi Hee-seop of the Florida Marlins, in his second at-bat in the game, powerfully hit the fifth pitch by Jerome Williams of the San Francisco Giants, who just had a three balls and one strike count on him. The ball streaked over the fence.

A 128-meter-long big cannonball. Choi, who just pulled the game’s first score, circled the infield while Barry Bonds, the Giants’ big gun, watched him.

Choi, who was the first baseman and fifth hitter in the Marlins’ away game with the Giants, led his franchise to a 4-3 win with his eighth home run of the season. While it took Choi 17 games to hit eight homerun this season, it took him 80 games last year.

Choi has hit a homerun in almost every other game. “Bonds is my favorite hitter,” Choi said, while smiling. “I will raise my home run goals because I’ve got a good vibe.”

Sang-Soo Kim Jong-Seok Kim ssoo@donga.com kjs0123@donga.com