“I’m a player who needs to hit 20 home runs to have merit.”
Yang Seok-hwan of the Doosan Bears started at first base in the No. 5 spot in the lineup against the Samsung Lions of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base. Helped Doosan to an 8-2 victory.
Yang’s home run came in the fifth inning, when Doosan had runners on second and third after Kim Jae-hwan doubled to left and Jose Rojas walked. Yang then took advantage of a 143-kilometer fastball from Noh Geon-woo for a three-run shot over the center field wall. It was Yang’s 19th home run of the season.
Yang is now just one home run away from reaching 20. Yang, who came to Doosan from the LG Twins via trade in 2021, hit 28 home runs in his first year with the team and 20 in 2022. With one more home run this year, he will reach the 20-homer mark for the third consecutive year, proving once again that he is the “Jamsil Giant.
After the game, Yang Seok-hwan said, “I’m one home run away from 20, but I’m not too excited. I need to hit home runs. I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season, ‘If I don’t hit 20 home runs, I’m not a good player.’ I feel like I have to hit at least 20,” he said, vowing to take over the 20-homer plateau.
Given his recent pace, a third straight 20-homer season is not out of the question. Yang is batting .343 (12-for-35) with two home runs in his last 10 games. “The hitting cycle,” he said, “sometimes it’s good, sometimes it’s bad over the course of the season. It hasn’t been good for a while, but it’s picking up again,” he said.
But don’t let your guard down. “It took me three days from my 18th home run to my 19th home run. When home runs come, they tend to come often. When they don’t, they don’t come again. I wonder if I’ll hit 20 home runs (someday),” he said, expressing his hope that it will happen soon.
He also has high hopes for fall baseball. Yang made the Korean Series in his first year with the team, but was disappointed last year when Doosan finished ninth. This season, they were as high as second place at one point, but have slipped back to the middle of the pack. As of Tuesday, Doosan was in sixth place with 59 wins, one tie and 57 losses for a winning percentage of 0.509. They have the same winning percentage as the fifth-place SSG Landers and three games in hand on the fourth-place KIA Tigers. Doosan could still be in contention for a top-five finish by the end of the season.
Therefore, the results of the remaining games are crucial. Doosan will play a two-game series against SSG in Jamsil starting on the 13th, followed by a three-game series against KIA starting on the 15th. Looking further ahead, Doosan has three games against SSG, including a doubleheader on the 26th and 27th. Depending on the results, it is still possible for Doosan to overturn the standings.안전놀이터
“We haven’t really talked about the rest of our schedule,” Yang said. But even if we don’t talk about it, we know that we still have important games to play, so even if they’re a little tired and sore, they’re trying not to miss a game. I think this will definitely help the team,” he said, expressing his desire to reach the postseason.
If Yang adds his weight to the center of the batting order, Doosan could finish higher in the standings. “Home runs are important to win more games,” he said. During our winning streak, we hit a lot of home runs. During the losing streak, we didn’t hit many home runs. We have a lot of important games left, so we need to hit better,” he said.