Lake Bi → Mistake after mistake, heaven and hell… US broadcasters praise “Good defence every day without covering positions”

Kim Ha-Sung 온라인바카라(28, San Diego Padres)’s defensive errors are just that, errors. That’s how much his defence has improved in the majors.

Kim started at first base in the second game of the Padres’ three-game series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, USA, on Sunday (23 June) and went 3-for-4 with a home run, one RBI, two walks and two runs scored in the team’s 14-3 victory.

In his third year in the majors, Kim switched his primary position from shortstop to second base. With regular shortstop Xander Bogaerts serving as the designated hitter, Kim was at shortstop and Jake Cronenweth at second base. It was Kim’s first start at shortstop in six games since the 16th against the Philadelphia Phillies.

As expected from a shortstop, Kim made an immediate impact early in the game. In the bottom of the third inning, with the score 4-3, he made a glove catch of Javier Baez’s tricky hit and quickly threw to second base to end the game with the go-ahead run.

[Photo] Kim Ha-seong ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

A local US broadcaster commented, “Kim Ha-seong made a good defence and threw out the lead runner. This season, he has been playing good defence every night regardless of whether he is playing second, shortstop or third base.”

In the sixth inning, Kim was a bit awkward at shortstop and made a series of errors. Leading 10-3 to start the bottom of the sixth, he chased down a line drive by Baez, but the ball hit his glove and sailed into the outfield. It was an infield hit. Kim was disappointed, but even if he had caught the ball, there was a good chance the runner would have been safe at first base.

[Photo] Ha-Sung Kim ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

Zack McKinstry followed with a foul fly to left field to put runners on first and second. The next batter, veteran Miguel Cabrera, hit a heavily bounced ball towards the shortstop, and Kim rushed forward to get his glove on it, but unfortunately, the ball went into the outfield instead of into his glove. Kim sighed and congratulated himself, and the scorekeeper made a note of the error.

Fortunately, no runs were scored. With two outs and the bases loaded, Kim calmly caught Matt Bieberling’s grounder and threw to second base to end the inning without a run.

The broadcasters also reacted to his mistakes with more puzzlement than criticism. It was an indication of Kim’s changed status.

[Photo] Kim Ha-seong ⓒGettyimages (All rights reserved)

Meanwhile, Kim showed off his batting prowess in the leadoff spot. With a walk in the first inning, a hit in the fourth, a walk in the fifth, a solo home run in the seventh, and a hit in the ninth, he recorded the most walks in a single game in the major leagues (five), surpassing his previous record of four. With his home run in the seventh, he also broke the record for most home runs in a season (12), surpassing his previous record of 11.

Kim raised his season batting average from 2-for-6 to 2-for-8, and the leadoff man helped San Diego to a 14-3 victory over Detroit to clinch the weekend’s three-game series early.

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