Between ‘home run number one’ and gold for Noh Si-hwan
Choi Jung-jeong narrows home run gap to 2
Kim Hye-sung-Son As-seop’s batting race is also ‘in the bag’
The Hangzhou Asian Games has sparked a batting race in the KBO. With leaders Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha) and Kim Hye-sung (Kiwoom) away competing in the Asian Games, Choi Jung (SSG) and Son Ah-seop (NC) have been swinging the bats, keeping the race for the title close to the end of the season.
Choi hit his 29th arch of the season against NC on April 8, narrowing the gap between him and Noh Si-hwan (31 home runs) to two. It was a reversal of the “home run king = Noh Si-hwan” mentality. The two had a good-natured rivalry in the first half of the year with 19 home runs apiece, but the gap widened in the second half. While Choi was held to six home runs in August and last month combined, Noh blasted 10 home runs to overtake him. The gap between the two had widened to five when the national team convened on March 23.
However, Choi’s bat exploded while Noh won the Asian Games gold medal. On June 6 against Hanwha, he hit three home runs, including a back-to-back, to pull within a run of Noh. Upon his return to the national team, Noh played in back-to-back games against NC on the 9th and 10th, but failed to record a home run.
So far, the odds are still in Noh’s favor. With only three games left in the season as of October 10, Hanwha will face Lotte, who have been eliminated from the postseason, on October 14-16. Noh should have a relatively easy time of it as he faces a less motivated Lotte pitching staff.
Choi, on the other hand, will have to face a Doosan pitching staff that is in contention for third place in two of the remaining four games. With only one game separating third through fifth place heading into the final stretch of the season, Doosan will likely be fighting tooth and nail for a direct semi-playoff berth. However, the three-time (2016, 2017, 2021) home run champion will have the advantage of having one more game in hand over Noh Si-hwan.메이저사이트
The most hits title is also in doubt. Prior to Hangzhou, Kim Hye-seong, who is chasing her first career title, held the top spot with 183 hits, but Son As-seop racked up 18 hits in his absence to move into a tie for the top spot.
Kim Hye-seong regained sole possession of the top spot after going 2-for-4 at Samsung Electronics on Tuesday, but Son has a slight advantage when considering the remaining schedule. Kim has just two games left, while Son has five. If Son is able to top the RBI list this season, it will be his fourth career RBI title after winning the title from 2012-2013-2017.