‘6.5 billion FA catcher, really bought well’

LG Twins’ Park Dong-won (33) hit a come-from-behind two-run homer in Game 2 of the Korean Series. It gave LG a 2-1 lead in the series.

Park went 1-for-3 with a double, a home run, two RBIs, one run scored, and one walk while starting in the No. 7 spot against KT Wiz in Game 3 of the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL Korea Series’ at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on Tuesday.

In the top of the second inning, Park Dong-won led off with a single to center field. Moon Sung-ju also hit a grounder to shortstop, but was unable to score. However, LG took a 3-0 lead in the third inning when Austin Dean hit a leadoff three-run home run after Hong Chang-ki singled and Park Hae-min walked.

KT answered right back in the bottom of the third. After a leadoff walk and a single by Kim Sang-soo, Hwang Jae-gyun hit a two-run double to score a run. 먹튀검증토토사이트 Park Dong-won led off the fourth inning with a walk, but it didn’t lead to a run.

Down 1-3, KT had runners on first and second in the bottom of the fifth when Park Byung-ho led off with a single and shortstop Oh Ji-hwan reached on an error by Jang Jang-woo. Then, pinch-hitter Kim Min-hyuk singled, Alford doubled, and Choi Sung-ho singled to make it 4-3.

An error by Oh Ji-hwan nearly put the game out of reach, but LG had a savior.

In the top of the sixth, leadoff hitter Moon Bo-kyung singled and Park Dong-won came to the plate with the bases loaded. KT pulled starter Wes Benjamin from the mound and brought in Son Dong-hyun, but Park took a four-pitch, 142-kilometer-per-hour fastball over the left-field fence for a game-winning two-run home run.

After regaining the lead in the bottom of the eighth, LG reliever Ko Woo-seok gave up a tying double to Hwang Jae-gyun and a two-run homer to Park Byung-ho. However, in the top of the ninth, Oh Ji-hwan came back with a three-run homer to give LG an 8-7 victory. After losing game one, LG took the next two games to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

Park Dong-won played the biggest role in LG’s comeback, hitting back-to-back two-run homers in the second and third games to take the series lead. After a shaky start to the second game with four runs in the first inning, LG slowly chased KT and was trailing 3-4 going into the eighth inning. However, a walk by Oh Ji-hwan and a sacrifice bunt by Moon Bo-kyung put runners on first and second, and Park Dong-won turned the game around with a two-run home run off Park Young-hyun, who was protecting the KT back door. LG held on to the lead and won the game 5-4. Park Dong-won also played a crucial role in the third game, hitting a come-from-behind two-run homer in the sixth inning.

For eight years, from 2015 to last year, Yoo Kang-nam was LG’s starting catcher.

But when Yoo became a free agent last winter, the team decided to make a change at the position. Yoo signed a four-year, $8 billion contract with Lotte, and LG brought in Park Dong-won for four years and $6.5 billion to fill Yoo’s void.

The signing of Park Dong-won proved to be a godsend for LG. In 130 games this season, Park batted .244 with 102 hits in 409 at-bats, 20 home runs, 75 RBIs, and a .777 OPS, tying for sixth in the league in home runs. He was second on the team in home runs behind foreign-born Austin Dean (23).

After hitting 20 home runs while playing in Jamsil Stadium, an extremely pitcher-friendly ballpark, Park hasn’t let his power slip away in the Korean Series. He homered in two consecutive games to give LG a pair of gem-like victories.

LG lost Game 1, putting a red flag on their first title in 29 years, since 1994. Historically, the team that loses Game 1 of a Korean Series has only a 26% (29/39) chance of going on to win the series (excluding ties). However, Park Dong-won’s come-from-behind home run in Game 2 increased the odds to 44% (8/18), and Park’s home run in Game 3 increased the odds to 88% (15/17).

With Park Dong-won’s performance, LG will be able to lift the coveted Korean Series trophy.

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