Hwang’s batting streak ended→Kim Ha-seong’s 9th inning hit→Another Asian record set

Kim Ha-seong (29-San Diego Padres) missed a chance to surpass Ichiro Suzuki (50) on a bizarre umpire’s ball call. But he produced a gutsy hit in his final at-bat of the ninth inning to set another Asian major league record.메이저놀이터

Kim started at first base and second in the lineup against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, USA, on 9 September (local time) and went 1-for-4 with a walk and three strikeouts. His season batting average dropped slightly to .288 and his OPS to .835.

The game left a lot to be desired, not only for San Diego’s 0-2 loss, but for Kim himself. Had he reached base twice in the game, he would have set the Asian major league record for most consecutive games with multiple hits in a game at 16.

The previous day (8 August), Kim tied Ichiro’s record of 15 consecutive games with multiple hits with a 2-for-5 performance at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ichiro had previously reached base in 15 consecutive games from 4 June 2007 against the Texas Rangers to 20 June 2007 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. However, Kim had to settle for tying Ichiro’s record after failing to reach base twice on the day. He fell short of Steve Finley’s San Diego franchise record of 18 consecutive games (21 June-12 July 1996) and remains second all-time.

It was a frustrating process. In his first two at-bats, he struck out twice, unable to handle opposing starter Logan Gilbert, whose fastball averaged 95.4 miles per hour (153.5 km/h). The problem came in his third at-bat in the top of the sixth inning.

Graphic of the top of the sixth inning confrontation between Ha-Sung Kim and Logan Gilbert in Seattle on 9 September. The seventh pitch, a body ball, is shown to be out of the strike zone. /Photo=MLB.com Galmuri

Ha-Sung Kim is disappointed with the ball call.

Even with an unfavourable ball count of 0B2S, Kim continued to fight hard, picking out two balls and hitting everything that came to the edge of the zone. The last pitch, a seven-pitch splitter, went deep into the body of Kim, and even though it was one pitch short of the strike zone boundary on the replay screen and MLB.com, umpire Doug Eddings called it a strike. Major League Baseball pitch analyst Rob Friedman, aka “Pitchinza,” questioned the call, saying, “I don’t think it’s a very accurate strike call. Kim looked at the umpire in disbelief and protested, but umpire Eddings didn’t even bat an eye.

San Diego was down 0-1 in the top of the sixth inning and had a lot of at-bats to go unless they wanted to turn it around. At this point, Kim’s multi-hit streak was effectively over. But Kim wasn’t about to give up.

In the top of the ninth, Kim led off with a walk and faced another unfavourable pitch count (0B2S) against Seattle closer Andres Muñoz. Muñoz’s three-pitch slider curved outside the strike zone, but Kim was able to get a hand on it for a single up the middle. It was Kim’s 14th consecutive hit, dating back to a home game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on 25 March.

In doing so, he set a new record for consecutive games with a hit by an Asian major league infielder. The previous record was a 13-game streak by Kim Ha-seong this year and Tadahito Iguchi (then of the Chicago White Sox) in 2007. Iguchi had a 13-game hitting streak from 31 May 2007 against the Minnesota Twins to 12 June 2007 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

This is another record that would not have been achieved if he had failed to reach base in consecutive games. Now, Kim is looking to break the record for consecutive games with a hit by a Korean major leaguer, which was set by Shin-Soo Choo with the Cincinnati Reds in 2013. At the time, Shin-Soo Choo had a 16-game hitting streak from 3 July against San Francisco to 23 July against San Francisco. The Asian major league record for consecutive games with a hit is a bit more distant. The longest streak for an Asian major leaguer is 27 games, set by Ichiro in 2007.

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