Bae Ji-hwan (Pittsburgh Pirates) showed his tenacity by working full counts in all four of his at-bats. With his eight-game hitting streak, he set a new major league record for the longest active hitting streak. His stellar defense also contributed to the team’s winning streak.
Bae batted first and played center field against the Washington Nationals on Thursday (June 14) at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He finished the game with three hits in four at-bats, one run, one walk and one stolen base. He drew full counts in all four of his at-bats, forcing opposing pitchers to throw a whopping 29 pitches. He also stole his 23rd base in the fourth inning.
He extended his hitting streak to eight games. Starting with a 1-for-4 performance against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 6, Bae reached base in all eight games against Washington on April 14. It’s the longest hitting streak of his major league career. He started all eight games, establishing himself as the designated hitter, and batted .281 with nine hits in 32 of 33 at-bats. For the season, he is batting .245 with a .634 OPS.
Pittsburgh won the game 7-6. Every time Bae walked, he was followed by a hit, and the runs came. Closer David Bednar struggled, but Bae got the final out.
It was a full-count game from the start. After the first three pitches from Washington starter Jackson Rutledge were all balls, Bae chose to wait, but the next two pitches were in the strike zone. He swung at the sixth pitch, but it was foul.
Up to this point, all six pitches had been fastballs. Rutledge chose a different pitch for the first time in seven pitches, but Bae responded lightly. He ducked low on a changeup that was just outside the zone and lined it to center field, just past the second base line.
Bae’s hit ignited the Pittsburgh offense. The next batter, Brian Reynolds, got a lucky break when his ball dropped in front of the left fielder. Key Brian Hayes followed with a long fly to right field. Bae scored on Hayes’ double to center field. The run made up for an error by Pittsburgh starter Colin Selby in the first inning.
Zack Suwinski followed suit with an RBI single, as if he had copied Reynolds’ hit. The pitching coach came to the mound to try and salvage the situation, but Joshua Palacios singled to right and Roberto Peguero doubled to left with one out, making the score 4-1. Pittsburgh’s first inning offense was capped off with a single to right field by No. 9 hitter Jared Triolo.
In the second inning, Bae worked a full count against Rutledge. He swung at a seven-pitch changeup, but this time it was a fly ball to right field.
In the fourth inning, he came up with the bases loaded. This time, he faced Rutledge and worked a full count, then picked off a six-pitch fastball for a walk. The next batter, Reynolds, stole second and advanced to third on an error. He came home on Reynolds’ home run off the right field foul pole.
The sixth inning was also a full count. Facing Washington’s third pitcher, Robert Garcia, with the bases loaded, Bae fouled off three straight pitches on a full count to extend the game to nine pitches, but was foul-tipped on a slider.
In the seventh inning, he stopped a long fly ball to right-center field. Palacios, the right fielder, made a sliding catch, avoiding collision and getting his glove right on the ground. Palacios marveled at Bae’s catch, and Carmen Muzinski, who was watching the play from the mound, beamed at Bae.
Pittsburgh led 7-1 after four innings, but four runs in the fifth and sixth innings cut the deficit to two. Ryan Borucki, the third pitcher of the sixth inning, extinguished the flames with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Muzinski got out of the seventh in relief of Bae, and Colin Holderman came on in the eighth to preserve the two-run lead and add a hold.
Bednar closed out the game in relief. It started inauspiciously. The first batter, Travis Blankenhorn, hit a foul fly that was missed by shortstop Alyssa Williams. Blankenhorn eventually reached on a fielder’s choice.메이저놀이터
Bednar gave up back-to-back singles to Luis Garcia and Kybert Lewis to cut the deficit to 7-6. Bednar worked a 3-0 count against Jake Alou before inducing a grounder to first for the elusive first out.
With runners on first and third, he walked Ildemaro Vargas to load the bases. He then fired a fastball up the middle on a full count to CJ Abrams and induced a swinging strikeout. With two outs, he got Lane Thomas to fly out to center field. Bae made a running catch in right-center field. Pittsburgh has won two straight following a 5-1 victory on Aug. 13.