With Carlos Santana out of the picture, Choi Ji-Man 먹튀검증(Pittsburgh Pirates) showed off his hot bat. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent the team from losing.
Choi started at first base and batted fourth in the lineup against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Sept. 29 (ET), going 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. His season batting average of .188 rose to .191.
After being sidelined with an Achilles’ tendon injury earlier in the season, Choi showed off his batting prowess in the big leagues, firing up the home run machine on a regular basis. He hit in all eight games he started, including his first game back from injury, but there was something else that was holding him back. It was the platoon system.
Due to the presence of Carlos Santana at first base, Choi was often left out of the starting lineup despite his good performance, especially as a pinch hitter. However, Pittsburgh’s trade of Santana the previous day (Aug. 28) cleared up the traffic, allowing Choi to break out.
Choi continued his hot hitting on the 29th. In his first at-bat to lead off the bottom of the second inning with the score tied at 0-0, Choi lined a 92.2 mph (148.4 km/h) slider up and away from the body of Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler and into the left-field bleachers. His second at-bat was a different story.
With runners on first and second in scoring position in the bottom of the fourth inning after a Brian Reynolds single and an Andrew McCutchen walk, Choi faced Wheeler again, this time on a slider. Choi was able to get a good pull on Wheeler’s slider as it dug into his body, and he crushed a chasing double to right field.
If there was a downside to Choi’s at-bat, it was that McCutchen, who was on first base, didn’t make it home. McCutchin, who was on first base, tried to sprint home around the third base line, but he didn’t try hard enough. It rolled into a snowball. With runners on second and third off Choi’s single, Henry Davis and Endy Rodriguez both went silent, and Pittsburgh had to settle for a single run.
There was some good defense, too. In the top of the sixth inning, with one out, Philadelphia’s Trey Turner hit a grounder to shortstop, second baseman, and first baseman. The umpire’s initial call was safe, but after video review, the call was overturned and Turner’s hit was a double.
It was a stellar defense, but it didn’t translate into a good hit. In the third at-bat of the seventh inning, Choi fought a five-pitch battle with Wheeler and swung wildly at a low curveball out of the strike zone, and in the final at-bat of the ninth inning, he flied out to left field to end the game.
The good momentum from the previous day’s win over the San Diego Padres didn’t carry over. It was the Phillies who struck first. The Phillies jumped out to an early lead in the top of the third inning when Kyle Schwarber blasted a leadoff home run to center field after leadoff hitter Brandon Marsh drew a walk.
Pittsburgh answered right back. In the bottom of the fourth, with runners in scoring position after a Reynolds single and a McCutchen walk, “The Fixer” Choi Ji-Man came through with an RBI double to close the gap. But that was it. Pittsburgh was unable to add to its lead in the ensuing at-bats, or even after the game was suspended and resumed due to a sudden downpour of rain, and fell to the Phillies, 1-2.