Hanwha extended its winning streak to eight games with a 10-4 victory over the Samsung Lions in the Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 2023 at Samsung Lions Park in Daegu, South Korea, on April 1. The league standings remained unchanged at eighth place (31 wins, 4 ties, 37 losses), but the team closed the gap on fourth-place Lotte 꽁머니사이트 (36 wins, 34 losses) to four games.
Starting pitcher Ricardo Sanchez picked up his fifth win of the season with six innings of five-hit ball, one walk and five strikeouts, while the bullpen of Kim Bum-soo (one scoreless inning), Joo Hyun-sang (one scoreless inning) and Nam Ji-min (three runs in one inning) preserved the win.
At the plate, Noh Si-hwan hit his 16th and 17th home runs of the season, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. He cut the gap to the league’s home run leader Choi Jung (SSG, 19) to two home runs. Lee Jin-young wielded a four-hit blast and Choi Jae-hoon also had a three-hit game.
The last time Hanwha won eight straight games was 18 years ago on June 12, 2005, against LG Electronics. At the time, Hanwha rode a nine-game winning streak into the postseason. After reaching the postseason three years in a row from 2005 to 2007, Hanwha missed the postseason for 10 consecutive years until they finally made it in 2018. After playing fall baseball for the first time in 11 years, they fell back into the dark ages for another five years.
After a tumultuous start to the season that saw the firing of manager Carlos Suvero, Hanwha has found stability under Choi Won-ho and has exceeded expectations. Just two games behind fifth-place Kiwoom, a postseason berth is within reach.
Han Yong-duk, who was the head coach of Hanwha when they reached the postseason in 2018, said after the game between Kiwoom and SSG at the Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul, “The fans have suffered a lot. Now it’s time for Hanwha to win,” he said, welcoming the team’s rebound.
Han Yong-duk, who emphasized that “Hanwha has changed a lot,” said, “I can see that the young players have grown a lot,” and expected Hanwha to rise.
Jang Jong-hoon, a legendary Hanwha home run hitter who has the club’s permanent number (No. 35), also took note of the team’s growth. “When I turn on the TV, I can’t help but watch Hanwha play,” said Jang Jong-hoon, who visited the ‘2023 Future 토토 가입머니 Youth Leaders National Education University T-ball Tournament’ in Boyeon, Chungcheongbuk-do, on March 24 to conduct a batting clinic. Hanwha’s performance hasn’t been good for a long time, and I wish the players would take baseball more seriously. I don’t want them to take baseball too seriously, but when they are not performing well or are not satisfied with their performance, they should practice until they are satisfied and show that kind of behavior,” he said, giving the Hanwha players heartfelt advice.
“I can’t help but feel affection for Hanwha,” said Jang Jong-hoon, who smiled, “Some of the players I coached and some I didn’t, but they are all Hanwha players, so I’m watching them with affection. I hope you will do better in the future for the sake of the fans,” he said, cheering on the juniors.