‘The wind is blowing’ in MLB… Lee Jung-hoo hits in debut

MLB에 '바람'이 분다...이정후 데뷔전서 안타

The start of a new legend. The San Francisco Giants’ Jung-Hoo Lee, 26, got his first hit and first RBI in the opening game of the Major League Baseball (MLB) season on Monday (KST). He made his debut in style. Lee started in center field, batting first, against the San Diego Padres. “I slept so well last night. I’m not too nervous,” he said before the game.

His first opponent was Darvish Yu (38). He had faced him once before in last year’s World Baseball Classic, going 1-for-2 with a walk. Despite his confidence, he struck out on three pitches in the first inning. A 95-mph (153-kilometer) fastball right down the middle. In the top of the third, with the Giants leading 1-0, he stepped up to the plate again with one out and runners on first and second. He worked a full count and hit the ball well, but was unfortunate to see it go straight to first base. And a third at-bat. Facing Darvish with two outs in the top of the fifth, he again worked a full count, this time hitting a sinker that came in slightly high and landed in front of center field. The players took the ball away and handed it to Lee, who was making his MLB debut. The broadcast screen showed his father, former LG Twins coach Lee Jong-beom, clapping in the stands. Lee was so excited and motivated by his first hit that he immediately tried to steal second base, but was stopped and put his head down.

Still buoyed by the momentum, Lee hit his first MLB RBI in the top of the seventh inning of his fourth at-bat with runners on first and second off Padres Japanese left-hander Yuki Matsui. The hit tied the game at 2-2. However, the Giants’ bullpen collapsed in the bottom of the seventh inning, giving up four runs and eventually losing the game 4-6. Lee became the 27th Korean player to reach the major leagues since Park Chan-ho cut the tape on April 9, 1994. Padres’ “senior” Kim Ha-seong, 29, also had a successful start to the season with one hit, one walk and one run scored.

“It was impressive for him to get a hit in his debut,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said, “and it was productive for him to get his first hit against a left-handed pitcher.” Melvin was in charge of the Padres until last year. “Lee had a ‘bittersweet’ experience in his long-awaited MLB debut,” NBC Sports reported, noting that despite his performance, the team came up short.

After the game, Lee expressed his satisfaction, saying, “I don’t have any regrets, and I think I did well for my first game.” He also said, “I remember the sacrifice fly more than my first hit.” He added, “Playing in front of a large crowd and good field conditions is something you can only do in a national team game. I will try harder,” he added. Kim Ha-seong said, “I ate potato soup with Jung-hoo yesterday,” adding, “If I do what he does, I’ll be able to do well enough. If you adapt well, you can do better than you did in Korea,” he encouraged.

Shohei Ohtani, 30, is one of the most intriguing players in the MLB, and he went 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, and a run scored in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home 토토사이트 opener. After going hitless in the previous three exhibition games amid the recent controversy over illegal gambling by his former interpreter, he did not disappoint in his first game in front of the home crowd. He started at second base against the St. Louis Cardinals and hit a double to right-center field in his first at-bat in the first inning, singled in his second at-bat in the third inning, singled again in his third at-bat in the fifth inning, and struck out in his final at-bat in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers’ so-called “Most Valuable Player” trio of Mookie Betts at first, Ohtani at second, and Freddie Freeman at third (all three are former league MVPs) blitzed the Cardinals pitching staff. 7-1 win. Betts went 2-for-1 with one double, one home run, two walks and three runs scored, while Freeman went 3-for-2 with one double, one home run, one walk and one run scored.

“I thought I saw the ball well, so I was able to play relatively calmly,” Ohtani told NHK after the game. The LA Times reported, “Ohtani showed no signs of being rattled by the interpreter gambling scandal in his home debut. He seemed to be asking, ‘What scandal?

The Arizona Diamondbacks, last year’s National League (NL) champions, scored 14 runs in the third inning to beat the Colorado Rockies 16-1.

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