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Still No Confidence in Choi?

Posted May. 12, 2005 23:33,   


He’s on an amazing streak.

It’s as if his mind is set on blasting away his reputation as a “one-dimensional player” in just a single blow.

Yes, it’s the story of “Big Choi” Choi Hee-seop (26, Los Angeles Dodgers).

On May 12, Choi, who started the away match against the St. Louis Cardinals in the No.2 spot in the lineup, slugged his way through the game by going 3-for-4 with one run scored and an RBI. He has performed tremendously for the past two days in a row, hitting a three-run homer the day before while going 2-for-4 with 4 RBIs.

Choi’s batting average rose to .302, up from the previous day’s .280, and has exceeded the .300 mark, a sign that distinguishes strong hitters.

The Associated Press focused on Choi’s current roll, citing his stats for the past 11 games that show a .436 batting average (17-for-39) with five home runs and 14 RBIs. His recent batting average exceeded .500 mark with is 9-for-17.

He has fully proven himself despite currently being benched against left-handed pitching, under a platoon system in which left- and right-handed batters start matches according to the opponent pitcher.

On his first at-bat in the first inning, with no outs and a runner on second, Choi singled to right field against starter Jeff Suppan. In the third inning with no outs and a runner on first, Choi displayed some clever base running on a RBI double to center-right field, and advanced to third base while the ball was being thrown home. He singled to left on his next at-bat during the fifth, with no outs and a runner on first.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, however, lost the game 3-9.

Choi’s Gwangju Je-il High School senior alum Kim Byung-hyun (29, Colorado Rockies), in his first start in a year, narrowly failed to earn a win in a home game against the Atlanta Braves, due to an unsuccessful save attempt by the bullpen.

Kim came off the mound on a 2-1 lead, pitching five quality innings with five strikeouts and only allowing one run on three hits (including one home run). Kim’s follow-up, however, gave up a score-tying home run.

Although Kim’s luck didn’t stretch far enough to earn him a win, he restored the faith of the coaching staff with some impressive pitching while going face-to-face with John Smoltz. The Rockies eventually won the game 6-5.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com