Choi Won-tae (LG Twins) earned his eighth win of the season against his hometown team, the Kiwoom Heroes, in his first appearance since joining the organization.먹튀검증

Choi Won-tae pitched five innings of six-hit ball with two walks and five strikeouts to earn his eighth win of the 2023 KBO League regular season against the Kiwoom Heroes at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on Wednesday. He was unable to go the distance as the Kiwoom bats were relentless, but the run support and defense got the job done. His fastball topped out at 147 km/h and his two-seamer touched 146 km/h.

Choi Won-tae was acquired by LG in a major trade on July 29. To acquire him, LG gave up big-league outfielder Lee Ju-hyung, pitcher Kim Dong-gyu, and a first-round pick in the 2024 Korean Baseball Organization draft. LG and Kiwoom faced off in a three-game series from January 1 to 3, shortly after the transfer, but Choi Won-tae’s appearance was delayed until the 12th. Manager Yeom Kyung-yup explained that it was “a courtesy to the traded player.”

The reunited team did not get along well. They had been with Choi Won-tae for so long that they were relentless in their harassment of him. Kiwoom got things started in the top of the first inning when Kim Hye-sung reached on a grounder to shortstop. Ronnie Dawson followed with a double, and Kim Hye-sung tried to score but was thrown out at the plate. But Kiwoom’s offense wasn’t done, as the next batter, Song Sung-moon, took advantage of Choi Won-tae’s four-pitch, 144 km/h fastball for a two-run double to right field.

Once the game was tied, Choi settled down. In the second inning, he struck out Lee Ju-hyung, his former trade partner. He didn’t throw a single fastball, mixing in a changeup, curveball, and slider before inducing a swinging strikeout with a slider in the low zone. He followed that up with a five-pitch at-bat against Lim Byung-wook, using only his changeup and no fastball to get two straight swinging strikes.

After striking out the side in the second inning and getting through a scoreless third, Choi gave up another run in the fourth. This time, he was hit by Kiwoom’s relentless hitting. Kiwoom led off the inning with a double, but Lee Joo-hyung singled to open the door for Choi Won-tae. The next batter, Lim Byung-wook, was hit twice by Choi’s changeup and drew a walk to put runners in scoring position. The persistent Kiwoom offense eventually gave up a run. Choi Won-tae gave up a single to Kim Tae-jin with runners on second and third, giving Kiwoom the lead again.

However, LG’s bats were stronger, and Choi Won-tae pitched in support of the run to preserve the win. LG quickly regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI double by Oh Ji-hwan and a sacrifice fly by Park Dong-won.

With the run support in place, all that remained to be done was to get through five innings. It wasn’t easy. In the top of the fifth, Kim gave up an infield single to Kim Hye-sung. The ball hit Choi Won-tae and bounced off the infield, where second baseman Shin Min-jae couldn’t handle it. Choi got the next batter, Ronnie Dawson, to ground out, but Kim Hye-sung stole second base.

One hit could have blown the game open, but Choi held on. After striking out Dawson on a changeup, Choi struck out the final batter, Kim Hwijip, with two consecutive curveballs to shortstop to complete the five-inning shutout with just under 100 pitches.

The LG bats came through with the extra run. Austin Dean’s two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth gave LG plenty of run support for Won-Tae Choi, who finished with a 5-2 lead.

Won-tae Choi handed the mound over to Duk-joo Ham in the sixth inning and finished the day’s work. The game was still in progress with LG leading 5-2 at the end of the sixth inning.

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