The LG Twins’ most impressive game of the season so far has to be the June 28 game against the Incheon SSG Landers.
In a must-win game, they fell behind by five runs in the first inning, but Pil Seung-jo came in early to prevent further losses and the strongest batting lineup caught up, eventually winning the game. Manager Yoon Kyung-yeop expressed his confidence in the victory, saying, “It’s about time.” At the time, LG started Ji-gang Lee.
LG’s starter at the time was Lee Ji-gang. SSG was Jong-hoon Park. The previous day’s win by LG put them in first place by half a game, and SSG’s will to regain the top spot was strong.
LG scored the first run in the first inning against Jong-hoon, who had a bad fastball, but Jong-hoon settled down and kept the LG bats at bay. SSG scored three runs in the bottom of the third inning to come back, and two runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-1 lead.
With a four-run deficit, Yeom brought up Ham Deok-ju in the bottom of the fifth inning. Ham is LG’s key closer. He is trusted by Yeom to close games when Go Woo-seok is unavailable. Everyone was surprised when he was brought up with the game on the line, as the score was close enough to warrant a long reliever or closer.
“I thought, ‘Why did he come out?'” said LG veteran Kim Hyun-soo when asked about that moment.
For Yeom, it was an expression of his determination to win. It was a game against SSG, a team that could face them in the Korean Series in the fall, so even though they were losing, he wanted them to focus and turn the game around. Kim Hyun-soo said, “I thought it was a message from the coach, and I thought we should accept it and be more energized. I thought it was a message from the coach, and I thought I should accept it and be more energized.”
메이저토토 However, Ham Deok-ju hit a solo shot against Park Sung-sung. It was 1-6, a five-run deficit. The team’s mood could have sunk if their most trusted bullpen pitcher gave up an extra run.
However, LG quickly tied the game in the top of the sixth inning. Down by five runs, they pounded out three hits against the second pitcher, Im Joon-seop, and then added a hit and an error against Moon Seung-won to score three runs and cut the deficit to 4-6, 2.
LG retired Jung Woo-young in order in the bottom of the sixth, and in the seventh, Park Myung-geun got SSG’s Choi Eredia Park Sung-sung to ground into a double play.
In the top of the eighth, Park Hae-min doubled and Shin Min-jae singled to right to make it 5-6, and Hong Chang-ki followed with a triple to center to tie the game at 6-6. Kim Hyun-soo followed with an RBI single to make it 7-6.
After Park Myung-geun pitched a scoreless eighth inning, LG took an 8-6 lead in the top of the ninth on Moon Bo-kyung’s RBI single up the middle. In the bottom of the ninth, Go Woo-seok gave up two walks and was faced with a bases-loaded situation, but he pitched a scoreless ninth to secure the upset win and move 1.5 games ahead of SSG for first place.
Despite being in-season, Yeom couldn’t give up on SSG, and he boldly put Pil Seung-jo in early, trusting in his batting lineup and in-form Pil Seung-jo to turn a five-point deficit into a two-point victory. In a way, they solved the ‘killer question’ of the Korean Series practice test. This kind of game management is not uncommon in the Korean Series. This is the kind of game where you have to play to win, even if you’re down by a run. It was a game that gave the players confidence that they could overcome a five-run deficit.