The atmosphere changed with Park Dong-won’s swing in a losing match. He is the hidden hero of the 7-game winning streak.
On the 3rd, LG won a 5-4 victory over 꽁머니 Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Kiwoom Heroes at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul, and reached the 12th inning of overtime, and sprinted for 7 victories in a row.
The main character of the game that day was Jung Joo-hyun. In the bottom of the 12th inning, with 2nd, 2nd and 3rd base, Jung Joo-hyun hit the shortstop ground ball against Yang-hyeon, but sprinted and hit the base first with a head-first slide. Kiwoom requested a video review, but as a result of the review, the centrifuge did not change. Third base runner Hong Chang-ki’s score was recognized, and Jung Joo-hyun became the protagonist of the final hit. It’s the third personal finishing moment.
However, without this player, there would be no finisher for Jung Joo-hyun. That is Park Dong-won.
In the bottom of the 9th inning, when the team was trailing 2-4 and the loss was getting darker, Moon Bo-gyeong, the lead batter, played a full count with Kiwoom finisher Lim Chang-min, and went on base with a walk.
Park Dong-won, who entered the at-bat on first base safely, hit Chang-min Lim’s 143 km fastball and scored a tie for two runs. It was a big hit that I knew it was a home run as soon as I hit it. The flying distance is 120m.
It is Park Dong-won’s 16th home run of the season, 32 days after the KIA Tigers match on July 2nd. He tied for third in home runs with Choi Joo-hwan (SSG).
Park Dong-won came out on the free agent market ahead of this season and signed a 4-year contract with LG for a total of 6.5 billion won (2 billion won down payment, 4.5 billion won annual salary).
Park Dong-won, who recorded a batting average of 0.235, 4 home runs and 10 RBIs in April, spewed fire in May. He flew with a batting average of 0.333 (25 hits in 75 at-bats), 9 home runs and 25 RBIs in 23 games for a month. His slugging percentage reached a whopping 0.787. Home runs, runs batted in, and slugging percentage all ranked first in the month.
As a result, he even won the monthly MVP award. It was the first monthly MVP produced by LG since Carlos Peguero, who received the monthly MVP in September 2019.
Even at this time, he was heading towards the catcher’s home run king. If Park Dong-won becomes the home run king, he will become the third catcher’s home run king in the history of the KBO League. Only two catchers of all time, Lee Man-soo and Park Gyeong-wan, have won the home run title. Other offensive catchers, Yang Eui-ji (Doosan) and Kang Min-ho (Samsung), also failed to become home run kings.
There is also the title of Jamsil Home Run King. The last Jamsil home run king was Kim Jae-hwan (Doosan) in 2018. Since then, the Jamsil home run king has not appeared.
However, the home run pace soon broke. In June, he only hit one. His batting average was 0.264 and he posted 13 RBIs. He suffered from wrist pain and symptoms of enteritis, and his condition was also affected.
Once the body fell, it was difficult to get back up. In July, he hit one home run, but his batting average plummeted to 0.167, only posting eight hits and four RBIs.
Director Yeom Gyeong-yeop does not send Park Dong-won out for a week full-time in order to arrange physical strength. In recent days when the heat wave is rampant, more rest is needed. On top of this, the sluggishness is overlapping, and the hardship is not the only one.
Park Dong-won, who took a break from the match against Doosan in Jamsil on July 30, is gaining strength again. As a result, he led the team to a 7-game winning streak with a home run that tied the game.
It is 5 different from Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha, 21), the first in home runs. 4 points difference from second place Choi Jeong (SSG, 20 pieces). If you can only rush, you can catch up enough. Again, he fired a signal flare toward the home run king.