The Hanwha Eagles defeated the ‘nemesis’ in the home room and presented victory to home fans for two days in a row.
Hanwha won 8-3 in the 15th game of the season against the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League Doosan Bears held at Hanwha Life Insurance 꽁머니지급 Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 13th. Driven by the momentum of the previous day’s 6-1 victory, they took a winning series of three consecutive weekends with consecutive wins.
In the bottom of the first inning, Hanwha easily solved the game by attacking Doosan starting pitcher Choi Won-jun. Leading batsman Moon Hyun-bin’s hit and Noh Si-hwan’s walk after a run gave him a chance to 1st and 2nd base, and fourth hitter Chae Eun-seong hit 1 RBI and 2nd base to get the first run.
Hanwha did not miss the opportunity to score additional points from 1 company, 2nd and 3rd base. Kim Tae-yeon and Lee Jin-young’s consecutive timely hits earned 2 more points and made the score 3-0.
The Hanwha batting line harassed Choi Won-jun even in the bottom of the second inning. After one out, Moon Hyun-bin hit a double, and once again the scoring opportunity was connected to the center line. The Doosan bench replaced the pitcher with Kim Min-gyu, considering that it was the last of the weekend’s three-game series and that Choi Won-joon was allowing regular hits.
Hanwha broke Doosan’s will to pursue by adding 3 runs at the end of the 4th inning and 1 run at the end of the 7th after fleeing to 4-2 with Kim In-hwan’s 1 RBI sacrifice fly in the outfield at the end of the 2nd inning. Holding on to the ankles of Doosan, who was busy on the way to the 5th place, he ran for two consecutive wins and prepared a stepping stone for a leap into the middle ranks.
Doosan starter Choi Won-jun’s break from the jinx was also a harvest. From the 2020 season, when he started playing as a full-time starting pitcher, to the game on this day, Choi won 13 games (11 starts), 59⅔ innings, 4 wins, 1 loss, and an average ERA of 1.96 against Hanwha, making him notorious for Hanwha as an “eagle killer.”
In the case of this season, Hanwha’s ‘Choi Won-joon phobia’ has deepened. He had a hard time with Choi Won-joon, only getting 1 run in 12 innings in 2 games.
But this day was different. In particular, Moon Hyun-bin, who took the lead off, scored a hit against Choi Won-joon in the first and second innings and opened the way for the attack. Rookie Moon Hyun-bin went 0-for-4 in his first encounter with Choi Won-jun in his debut season, but it was different in his second encounter. Moon Hyun-bin diligently set the table, and all of them scored goals, surpassing Choi Won-joon.
Although it should be taken into account that Choi Won-joon was not in 100% condition yet, starting 11 days after being canceled from the entry due to back muscle pain, it is encouraging that he attacked the ‘natural enemy’ and led to a team victory.
Hanwha only has one game left against Doosan this season, but Choi Won-joon is highly likely to play a part in the Doosan starting rotation next season as well. The meaning of Hanwha’s first victory over Choi Won-joon on this day is not small.