Bae Ji-hwan hits a cool 2B, but leaves 4 on base, 9 Ks, 35 BB, limitations

[By Jae-hyung Noh, Sports Chosun] Pittsburgh Pirates’ Bae Ji-hwan extended his hitting streak to four games, but he was unfortunate to be left stranded twice.

Bae went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts against the Texas Rangers at PNC Park on Nov. 23 (KST).메이저놀이터

His four-game hitting streak, which began against the Detroit Tigers on April 18, kept his average at .254 (32-for-126).

Pittsburgh broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the seventh inning with runners on first and second on Carlos Santana’s single to right and Tucupita Marcano’s grand slam with the bases loaded to make it 6-1. With a 2B2S count, Marcano took a five-pitch 86-mph slider from reliever Joe Balo over the center field wall.

With the 6-4 win, Pittsburgh snapped a two-game losing streak and moved into a tie for the NL Central lead with a 25-22 record. The first-place Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Houston Astros, 2-12, earlier in the day.

Bae got his first hit in the second inning. After leading off the inning with a grounder to shortstop by Conor Jo, Pittsburgh regained the lead when Bae hit a two-run double to right field. Bae drew a five-pitch, 82-mph slider from Texas starter Dane Dunning and sent it through the right side of the infield and over the fence for a bounding double, but Austin Hedges made the catch in center field and was unable to reach home.

However, Bae made up for it in his next three at-bats.

With runners on second and third in the fourth inning with a 1-0 lead, he grounded out to the second baseman, and with runners on second and third in the sixth inning with the score 1-1, he struck out swinging against reliever Josh Svotz. He fouled off an 86-mph curveball in the third inning and struck out swinging in the eighth.

Two at-bats later, with two runners in scoring position, Bae couldn’t get a hit. This year, Bae is batting .276 (8-for-29) with runners in scoring position, but he has struck out a lot overall.

His 35 strikeouts as of today are tied for third on the team with Andrew McCutchen and Brian Reynolds. Zack Swinski has the most strikeouts with 45, and Connor Cho is second with 43. However, of the top five, only Bae Bae-hwan has fewer than 145 plate appearances. The other hitters are platoon players. Bae is a regular at second base and center field, but he’s seven at-bats short of a full plate appearance.

Bae has a lot of strikeouts, but only nine walks. He has nearly four times as many strikeouts as walks. He’s not a home run hitter, and his relatively low strikeout rate explains his low slugging percentage. As of today, his .309 batting average is 13th on the team.

Bae has a -0.1 fWAR, which is 26th on the team among all batters. A negative WAR is a rare occurrence.

He has an offensive WAR of 0.4 and a defensive WAR of -0.4, meaning he contributes less on defense than offense. Bae committed three errors at second base, one at shortstop, and two in center field.