‘This is half the battle’ Choi Ji-Man, OPS 0.942 since returning… The numbers say ‘CHOI is a starter’

Choi Ji-Man (32-Pittsburgh Pirates) was again ineffective. A victim of the platoon system, he’s been getting more and more time off after a big hit, but he’s proving that he’s no half-assed player.

Choi started at first base in the No. 4 spot in the lineup against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego, California, on Sunday (July 27), going 1-for-4 with a home run, one run scored, and one RBI in a 3-2 victory for the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

It was the game-winning hit in the team’s 3-2 win. He’s still batting just .188 (12-for-64) with a .709 OPS, but he’s been on a steady upswing in limited opportunities.

After being held out of the lineup for four games following his home run against the Los Angeles Angels on April 22, Choi returned to the lineup and led off the top of the second inning with both teams tied at 0-0. The San Diego starter picked off three pitches from Seth Lugo and waited for a fourth before taking a five-pitch, 92.3-mph sinker up the middle for a leadoff solo shot over the right field fence. The pitch reached 101.7 miles per hour (163.6 km/h) and traveled 384 feet (117 meters), according to MLB.com Gameday, the official website of Major League Baseball.

It was his first home run in five days and second straight game as a starter, following his homer off Shohei Ohtani against the Angels on Aug. 22. Sixth of the season.

After striking out in his second at-bat, Choi came up big in his third at-bat of the seventh inning. Facing Lugo once again, Choi lined a low curveball to right field. It looked like it was going to go over the right-field fence, but Fernando Tatis Jr. leaped up and snagged it. “Tatis Jr. robbed Choi of a potential home run,” MLB.com wrote. Facing Robert Suarez in the top of the ninth, Choi grounded out to third base to end the game.

It was a very valuable win for Pittsburgh. After losing 10 straight games last month, the Pirates swept San Diego at home on July 28-30, but they were just 7-14 in July before this game and had never taken a series lead. Choi’s leadoff solo shot gave the Padres a 2-1 series lead, making this game all the more special.

“It was a much-needed win for us,” Choi said after the game, according to the Pittsburgh Gazette-Post, adding, “If I knew what I was doing, I would have been a god.”

“I’m glad I was able to give the fans a home run and make them happy,” Choi said, adding, “We still have a long season and a lot of games left. We still have a long season ahead of us and a lot of games to go.”

It was another game in which she made her presence felt for head coach Derek Shelton. Since his return, Choi has been hot at the plate, batting .250 (8-for-32) with four home runs, eight RBIs and a .942 OPS in 11 games (eight starts).

What’s even more surprising is that Choi hasn’t been able to get consistent playing time. After being injured early in the season, Choi returned to the lineup on April 8 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and played in three straight games, including a multi-hit game with a home run on April 10.

He continued to hit well after the All-Star break, getting a home run and a hit in two straight starts, but Shelton kept him in a strict platoon system. After starting on the bench against left-hander Alex Wood in Game 18, Choi had to come off the bench against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Game 18, even though the opposing starter was right-hander Javier Curry. The next day, when the opponent faced a left-handed starter, he was immediately removed from the roster.

He had a hit in each of the next two games and even hit a home run off Otani against the Angels on the 22nd, but it was his fourth straight game without a start. Despite struggling to maintain his hitting form, Choi got the start and fired up the cannon.

“Choi has six home runs in 20 games for the Pirates this season,” said local outlet Pittsburgh Baseball Now, “and is already tied for sixth on the team in home runs despite missing most of the season with an injury.”

Kim Ha-soo also had a good day at the plate, batting first and second, going 1-for-3 with a home run, a run scored and a walk. His season batting average increased slightly from .272 to .273. His OPS was 0.810.

Despite their stellar defense, the difference between the two this season is stark. It’s true that he’s been weak against lefties, batting .143 (2-for-10), but he’s had far too few opportunities. One of those two hits was a home run.카지노사이트

Last year, he hit .294 (15-for-51) against lefties, better than he did against righties (.223).

What’s more, Choi has been more effective when he’s starting. This season, he batted .400 (5-for-5) with one double in the first inning and .250 (12-for-3) with three home runs, four RBIs, and a 1.000 OPS in the second inning. Even in the fifth inning, when he’s not likely to be used as a pinch hitter, he batted .333 with one home run.

In the seventh inning, he batted just .125 (1-for-8), .000 (0-for-6), and .143 (1-for-7). The numbers show that he’s a pitcher who’s better as a starter than a pinch-hitter.

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