You have to wonder what’s going on. After running like a runaway locomotive in the first half of the year, Ha-Sung Kim, 28, of the San Diego Padres, has been on a downward spiral since mid-August, but he stole second base in just one opportunity and played Gold Glove-caliber defense to prove why he’s a starter even in a hitting slump.
Kim went 1-for-5 with a walk and a stolen base in the first and second base positions in the 2023 Major League Baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum Stadium in Oakland, California, USA, on June 16.
The result has seen Kim’s season batting average, once hovering around .280, plummet to .266 and his OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) plummet to .764. In his last 30 games, he’s batting just .200. The fallout from his first-half “Awesome Kim” syndrome is finally starting to show. He was given a 49-day break from the game on the 13th, but has yet to recover, going hitless in two straight games on the 14th and 16th.
“It’s a really, really long (season),” Kim told the San Diego Union-Tribune on Thursday. “I’m trying to stay sharp, play at a high level, and do everything I can to help the team win. I feel like it’s my job to stay fit.”
If the leadoff man was tired, his tablesetting partner Fernando Tatis Jr. was flying. Batting second and in right field, Tatis Jr. went 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and two walks in place of Kim.
Starter Seth Lugo also recorded a quality start, allowing three runs on five hits (two homers) with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings to lead San Diego to an 8-3 victory. Zander Bogaerts, Matthew Barton and Jose Azocar had multi-hit games to help Lugo improve to 7-0.
Struggles against lefties averaging 149 miles per hour, strikes out Musamuru… Kim goes hitless in 11 straight at-bats
Kim Ha-seong heads to the dugout with a disappointed gesture after being called out./AFPBBNews=News1
Kim Ha-seong heads to the dugout with a disappointed gesture after being called out.
His opponent for the day is left-hander Sean Newcomb, who averages 149 miles per hour. A mediocre seventh-year pitcher who was released after posting an 8.78 ERA in 20 games last year and has a 0.75 ERA in six games (12 innings) for Oakland this year. But Kim struggled mightily against Newcomb.메이저사이트
After leading off the first inning with a line drive to center field, Kim faced a no-hitter in the second. With Newcomb’s pitches scattered all over the strike zone, he was unable to connect on pitches in the middle of the plate and was busy walking them away. Finally, after seven pitches, Newcombe’s bat came up short on a high ball outside off, and he struck out.
It was Tatis Jr. who made up for it in the next at-bat. After getting the team on the board with a solo shot to right center in the first inning, Tatis Jr. followed it up with a two-run double to right-center field in the second inning to give the team a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth inning, Ha-Sung Kim was thrown out at the plate with the bases loaded to put a damper on the team’s momentum. Oakland scored a run in the second and third innings, and San Diego added a run in the fifth inning when Luis Camposano singled with runners on first and second to give San Diego a 5-2 lead.
Kim Ha-seong misses only one chance to steal… And a graceful throwing catch to beat the Oakland A’s
Kim Ha-seong (right) steals second base from first in the sixth inning against Oakland on Saturday.
Kim Ha-seong (right) is in pain after twisting his ankle while stealing second base in the top of the sixth inning against Oakland on Saturday.
Kim Ha-seong, right, slides into first base on a running throw in the eighth inning against Oakland on Saturday
But he proved why he’s been in the lineup despite his recent extended slump with his defense. In the top of the sixth inning, Kim led off with a straight bunt against reliever Adrian Martinez and stole second base with ease to record his 36th stolen base of the season. He was already four stolen bases shy of 40, the most by a Korean in a season and the first by an Asian infielder.
The game was briefly suspended when Kim appeared to twist his ankle slightly while stealing, but he signaled that he was fine and play resumed.
He struck out swinging in the eighth inning, but played fantastic defense with a slightly sore ankle. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Oakland’s Ryan Noda hit a grounder that hit the pitcher’s foot and bounced toward the second base line. It was a sudden change of pace, but Kim caught it with his backhand and made a great throw to first base to rob the runner at first. It was a masterful play that showed why he is a Gold Glove contender. Not surprisingly, the local broadcasters were impressed.
With momentum on their side, San Diego put runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the ninth, and Azokar hit a wedge triple to seal the 8-3 win.