(By Yoo Jun-sang, Sports Illustrated) More than the 27 errors in three days, the problem was the infield defense. The Samsung Lions were unable to overcome their infield woes and were forced to accept a series sweep.
The Lions fell to a 3-9 defeat against the LG 토토사이트 Twins in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Friday. Samsung’s record dropped to 25-34 (.424) with its third straight loss.
Samsung scored one run in the first and second innings and added another in the top of the fourth inning on an RBI single by “rookie” Ryu Seung-min. On top of that, starting pitcher Hwang Dong-jae pitched better than expected, taking a 3-1 lead into the fifth inning.
The problem came in the bottom of the sixth. LG scored eight runs in one inning to quickly turn the tide, especially after a throwing error by second baseman Kim Ji-chan, who failed to catch Moon Bo-kyung’s hit at second base with the bases loaded and the score 3-5.
The ball bounced out of bounds and was not caught, but Kim Ji-chan, the “main second baseman,” should have made the out. This is why the scorekeeper credited Kim Ji-chan with the error instead of Moon Bo-kyung’s hit, as he thought Kim Ji-chan was able to make the catch.
This wasn’t the only time Samsung’s infield defense was shaky. Throughout the series, the defense was shaky. Oh Jae-il made an error in the first game, and Kim Ji-chan and Kim Young-woong made errors in the third and sixth innings, respectively. Without the infielders to help, the pitchers couldn’t throw the ball with confidence.
The infield, which is undergoing a generational change, has definitely gotten younger. Kim Young-woong, a second-year player, is starting to fill the void left by Kang Kang-ul, who was recently demoted to the second team. This is definitely a positive for the team’s future.
However, it’s never good to see a team lose so many games because of their defense. In the home game against the Lotte Giants on April 9, shortstop Lee Jae-hyun’s error in the top of the fifth inning led to a number of runs, and Samsung lost the game 1-5. Samsung needs to find some stability in the infield if they want to get back on track.