The KBO’s “RBI king” Hong Chang-ki (29-LG Twins) has had a cold start to fall baseball this year. In the first game of the 2023 KBO Korean Series (best-of-seven) against the KT Wiz at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on April 7, Hong went hitless in five at-bats as LG’s No. 1 hitter .He wasn’t solely responsible for LG’s 2-3 loss, which saw them get out-hit. However, the “hitting in the showers” that propelled LG to the top of the regular season this year did not happen in Game 1 of the Korean Series. Hong, who is known for his ability to make contact, has been uncharacteristically weak in fall baseball. In 11 postseason games, he batted just .071 (3-for-42) with one RBI and four runs scored. His career postseason batting average dropped further to .081 (37-for-37) before Game 1 of the Korean Series .It’s not a small sample size, as he played more than 10 games and had 48 at-bats. One good outing can take the pressure off and the hits can start rolling in, but that “one” is hard to come by. LG coach Yoon Kyung-yeop still has faith in Hong. After the first game, Yeom said, “The first game is over. I’m sure (Hong) will do a good job tomorrow,” Yeom said after the first game, adding, “The batting order will be the same.”

Ultimately, if LG is to bounce back in Game 2, the offensive spearhead will need to return to his regular-season form. Hong’s regular-season numbers were .332 (174-for-524) with a .412 on-base percentage and 88 strikeouts .If Hong is a concern for LG’s batting order, KT’s No. 4 hitter Park Byung-ho (37) has been quiet. The KBO’s leading home run hitter has yet to win a championship ring, and this fall is his chance. In Game 1, however, he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts .Even in the playoffs with the NC Dinos, where he batted .200 (4-for-20) with one RBI, he has remained in the No. 4 spot. Park was a workhorse in the regular season this year, batting .283 (122-for-431) with 18 home runs and 87 RBIs .In the final 10 games of the regular season, he hit .371 with two home runs and 11 RBIs. If Byung-ho Park, who has been quiet in fall baseball, can start hitting again, KT could be one step closer to winning its second Korean Series title in franchise history. Park’s 12 postseason home runs rank fourth on the all-time list behind Lee Seung-yeop (14) and Tyrone Woods and Choi Jung (SSG Landers-over 13).With nine of his 12 cannons coming in the semifinals alone, Park will be looking for his second Korean Series home run this fall. KT manager Lee Kang-cheol gave him a vote of confidence before the series 슬롯 began, saying, “I’m not too worried about Byung-ho Park because he’s not performing badly for LG Electronics.”

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