Doosan Bears’ Yang Yang-ji (36) hit a home run in his first at-bat back from injury.
Doosan added Yang-ji to its first-team roster ahead of its game against the Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League 카지노사이트 at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 22.
Yang hasn’t played since May 5 against KT due to a side injury. He was eventually placed on the injured list on the 8th and was removed from the first team roster on the 18th before returning to the game.
However, Yang didn’t make the starting lineup. Coach Lee Seung-yeop said, “I don’t think Yang-ji will be able to start in this series. He hasn’t played a game since his injury, so he needs to focus on improving his game feeling. Also, his injury is a cautious area, so he will play as a substitute today. I won’t be playing defense,” he said, explaining why he didn’t include Yang in the starting lineup.
As for Yang’s batting, Lee said, “I saw him hitting (in batting practice), but he’s not hitting at 100 percent yet. I can’t help but be cautious. He’s really sensitive, so I’m sure he has some anxiety as well,” Lee said, adding that he was worried that Yang Ji was not yet at 100 percent.
However, despite Lee’s concerns, Yang showed his health with a home run in his first at-bat. In the top of the eighth inning, with Doosan leading 5-0, Yang took a two-seam, 139-kilometer-per-hour fastball from Kiwoom reliever Yoon Seok-won for a solo home run over the left-center field fence. It was his 10th home run of the season.
With his uncharacteristically nonchalant swing, Yang became the 15th player in KBO history to hit 10 home runs in 10 consecutive seasons. This is the fourth time in his career that Yang has hit a pinch-hit home run. Doosan went on to win 6-1 thanks to Yang’s extra-base hit.
In a postgame interview, Yang said, “It’s been a long time since I’ve been up to bat, and the fans were really supportive, so I was nervous, but the result was good. Alcantara and my other teammates did a great job today, so I feel good about the win.”
Speaking about his current form, Yang Ji said, “I think I’m almost recovered. I came back to the first team right after missing a game, so I was cautious about that. The coach told me to go out in the second half of the game rather than starting and get a feel for it and try it on the weekend, so that’s what I’m preparing for.”
Yang, who has hit 10 home runs in 10 consecutive seasons, said, “Personally, it’s an honor because I’ve been playing baseball for a long time and I’ve become a veteran. I still have a long way to go to catch up with (Kang) Min Ho-hyung, but I feel like I’m a little bit closer, so I’m personally satisfied. When I say I want to follow Min Ho-hyung, I mean it 100%. I think I’m maintaining my good form because I’m aiming for such a good player.”
Doosan is in a fierce race to qualify for the postseason. “Not only me, but the players and the coach know that every game is important,” Yang said. Everyone will do their best. I will do my best to lead the seniors and the younger guys so that we don’t fall apart again.”