Choi hits game-winning shot to end team’s losing streak
Four days after returning to the starting lineup, “Korean Big Leaguer” Choi Ji-Man (Pittsburgh Pirates) hit a thrilling come-from-behind game-winning hit to lift his team out of a losing streak.
Choi Ji-Man hits a game-winning single against the Cleveland Cavaliers at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Tuesday. Yonhap
Choi Ji-Man started at first base in the No. 4 spot in the lineup and went 1-for-3 with a double, two RBIs, one walk and one run scored against the Cleveland Cavaliers at PNC Park on Tuesday (Sept. 20). Choi’s return to the starting lineup came four days after his last start against the San Francisco Giants on April 16. He was a late-game substitute on the 17th and 18th, and sat out the 19th.메이저사이트
Choi’s hit came in the clutch. Trailing 3-4 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Choi lined a sinking fastball down the middle of the plate off left-hander Sam Henges, the third pitcher he faced, to 1B-1S for a single to right. The next two runners came home to cut the lead to 5-4. With one out, Santana stole third to give Pittsburgh another scoring opportunity.
Choi’s hit was even more significant because it came off a left-handed pitcher. Left-handed hitters have long shown a weakness against lefties. He often didn’t get a chance to play in games where the other team had a lefty starting. Under extreme stress, Choi even tried to transform himself into a switch-hitter in 2020. He hasn’t fared well against left-handed pitchers this season, batting just over .500, but on this day, he overcame his weaknesses to have a day to remember.
Pittsburgh snapped a five-game losing streak thanks to Choi’s performance. Choi’s two-run double forced Hedges out of the game, and Pittsburgh capitalized on another bases-loaded opportunity, scoring on an RBI double by Triolo to make it 7-4. Cleveland got one run back in the eighth on Josh Bell’s solo shot, but Pittsburgh never trailed again. Choi saw his season batting average rise slightly from .173 to .182 (10-for-55). After shaking off an Achilles’ tendon injury in his comeback game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 8, Choi hit .261 with two home runs and six RBIs in his next eight games.