Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Kim Ha-Sung, 28, was the lone fan favorite in yet another heartbreaking loss for the San Diego Padres. Without him, the Padres would have been last in baseball.

Kim started at first base and second base against the Seattle Mariners in the 2023 Major League Baseball (ML) World Series at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, U.S., on Tuesday (June 10) and went 1-for-3 with one hit, one walk, three stolen bases and one run scored.메이저놀이터

San Diego’s only run of the day came off the toes of Kim. After drawing a walk off Seattle starter Emerson Hancock in the top of the first inning, Ha-Sung Kim boldly stole second base on the second pitch of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s next at-bat. In Juan Soto’s at-bat, he stole third base on the first pitch of the at-bat, confusing the rookie pitcher who had just made his debut. Hancock induced Soto to hit a grounder to the pitcher, but he couldn’t even make it home. It was Kim’s only hit of the game.

With the bases loaded in the top of the third, Kim took a four-pitch sinker to left-center field on a 1B2S unfavorable pitch count. Resuming a multi-hit streak that was interrupted the day before (9), he has reached base in 15 consecutive games, the longest such streak in eight years since Matt Kemp (15 games) in 2015. He followed that up with another steal of second base off Tatis Jr. for his 27th stolen base of the season. It moved him into fourth place in the National League in stolen bases.

But Kim wasn’t the only San Diego hitter making an impact. Sporadic three-hit performances and a five-run eighth inning led to a 6-1 loss for San Diego, which snapped a four-game losing streak with a sweep of Seattle. Starting pitcher Darvish Yu was also unable to pick up the win despite allowing one run (unearned) on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

San Diego’s Kim Ha-seong attempts to steal third base during the first inning of a 2023 Major League Baseball game against Seattle on Tuesday./AFPBBNews=News1

San Diego’s Kim Ha-seong attempts to score a run during the first inning of the 2023 Major League Baseball game against Seattle on Tuesday./AFPBBNews=News1

Divine Sports Gospel posted a photo of a frustrated TV show celebrity and bemoaned San Diego’s lack of productivity outside of Kim Ha-Sung. /Photo=Divine Sports Gospel Official Social Media Galmuri

Kim was the lone praise for San Diego, which managed just four hits against Seattle in its big league debut for a rookie pitcher. Divine Sports Gospel, a local San Diego podcast, posted a picture of the frustrated TV show celebrity with the caption, “When Kim realized he couldn’t take all of San Diego’s at-bats.” The post echoed the sentiments of many San Diego fans who are frustrated with the team’s lackluster hitting.

“Anyone who has watched most of San Diego’s games this year knows that the team’s MVP is Ha-Sung Kim. Tatis Jr, Manny Machado, Soto, and Xander Bogaerts are the bigger stars, but he’s having a better year than all of them.” “San Diego’s season has been a roller coaster, but Kim’s emergence has been the best yet. He’s a future perennial All-Star,” he continued.

In fact, Kim finished the season batting .288 with 15 home runs, 41 RBIs, 63 runs scored, 27 doubles, a .384 slugging percentage, a .451 on-base percentage, and a .835 OPS in 110 games, good for a bWAR of 5.9, according to Baseball Reference. bWAR is Wins Above Replacement (WAR) per Baseball Reference, and Kim’s 5.9 is second only to Shohei Ohtani (29-LA Angels) at 9.0. In the National League, only Ronald Acuña Jr. (26-Atlanta Braves), the No. 0 MVP candidate, is tied. Soto is second in San Diego with a bWAR of 4.3, making him a force to be reckoned with among the team’s MVP candidates, including Tatis Jr. and Machado.

Based on the definition of WAR, which is “a measure of how much a player contributes to a team’s wins,” Ha-Sung Kim has actually turned San Diego from a last-place team into a wild-card contender. Currently, San Diego is in fourth place in the National League West with 55 wins and 60 losses, which is less than 50 wins if you subtract the 5.9 wins that Ha-Sung Kim contributed. That’s still four wins ahead of the actual last place Colorado Rockies.

But when you consider that the last-place teams in the other National League divisions are between 50 and 65 wins (Washington Nationals, St. Louis Cardinals), it’s not hard to see why San Diego fans have a self-help answer. When asked by Divine Sports Gospel, “Where would San Diego be in the standings without Ha-Sung Kim,” one fan succinctly replied, “Last place”.

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