He’s one of the best closers in the league, Go Woo-seok (24-LG Twins). KT Wiz founding member Moon Sang-cheol (32) became the unsung hero of the team’s winless streak.
Moon came on as a substitute for Song Min-seop in the LG Twins’ game against the Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2023 at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on June 6. He came to the plate as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, with his team trailing 0-3.
Moon swung the bat wildly from the first pitch, as if he was ready to go. He took a 150-kilometer-per-hour four-seam fastball from Ko Woo-seok and smashed a huge double off the left field wall. He then came home on a single by Jang Sung-woo to cut the deficit to 1-3.
After scoring on consecutive singles by Moon Sang-chul and Jang Jang-woo, KT gained momentum and began to target Go Woo-seok. Pinch-hitter Ahn Chi-young struck out looking, but Park Kyung-soo drew a walk to put runners on first and second with one out, and Choi Jae-dae hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-3. Kim Sang-soo then drew a walk to load the bases and put more pressure on the opposition.
With the bases loaded, Kim Min-hyuk grounded out to the first baseman, but KT was able to secure the win thanks to the work of veteran Hwang Jae-gyun. Hwang Jae-gyun took a 145-kilometer-per-hour cutter from Go Woo-seok on a 2-2 count. The pitch was high and out of bounds, and third baseman Moon Bo-kyung was unable to make the catch to end the game at 4-3. KT snapped a four-game losing streak with Hwang Jae-gyun’s clutch hit, not only earning its first win of the month but also closing to within “5.5” games of league leader LG. It all started with Moon Sang-chul, who opened the game with a pinch-hit single.
A day earlier, Moon Sang-chul came up as a pinch hitter and nearly made it a thrilling game against Go Woo-seok. With his team trailing 4-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning, he took a cutter from Ko and lined it up the middle. It was a one-run game and a single cannonball could have changed the outcome of the game, so Moon’s hit was well deserved.
However, his performance was overshadowed by the fact that the next two batters, Choi Sung-ho (straight hit to shortstop) and Hwang Jae-gyun (swinging strikeout), remained silent and did not score.
Moon joined KT as a founding member in 2014. Despite entering his 10th year as a professional, he hasn’t been given much of a chance, appearing in just 287 games before this season. However, the 2023 season will be different. After spending spring training in the Futures League with the juniors, he’s shown flashes of the power he showed in the secondary system, batting .263 (73-for-278) with eight home runs, 40 RBIs and a .712 OPS in 95 games this year.
The team went through a rough patch early in the season with the loss of starter Park Byung-ho to injury, but Moon has been able to fill the void and minimize the bleeding. And with his presence, Moon has been able to capitalize on the opportunities he’s been given even after Park’s return, energizing the team’s offense.메이저놀이터
Moon will continue to receive opportunities for the rest of the season. Especially with KT’s lack of right-handed hitters who can deliver long balls, Moon’s importance is growing. He’s always there when the team needs him, so let’s see what the rest of the 2023 season has in store for him.