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‘Injured’ Kim Hae-Sung falls to the ground after an unceremonious block… Should he have kicked it in instead?

It was a dizzying moment, brought on by an unsportsmanlike play by an opponent. Kim Ha-seong (28, San Diego Padres) collided with the opposing catcher as he was running home on a tag-up and injured his shoulder. He could have avoided the shoulder injury by kicking out.

Kim started at first base and second base for the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series against the Texas Rangers at Petco Park in San Diego, California, U.S., on Aug. 31, but was removed from the lineup in the top of the fourth inning.

Kim has been on a tear lately, earning the manager’s trust as a leadoff hitter. He has become an integral part of the San Diego Padres organization. The San Diego home fans have been chanting his name with enthusiasm every time he steps up to the plate. That makes this injury all the more unfortunate.

Kim batted leadoff in the top of the first inning with the score tied at 0-0. He got three straight pitches in the zone against Texas starter Cody Bradford. He watched the fourth pitch for a strike, then took the fifth pitch up the middle for a foul. In the sixth, he went for a high ball outside off, but it was again fouled. In the seventh, he picked off a 91.5-mph four-seam fastball in the zone and grounded out. Kim fulfilled his role as a leadoff hitter in the first inning. One out later, after Juan Soto struck out swinging, Kim boldly stole second base. It was Kim’s 21st stolen base of the season. However, he was unable to reach home as Manny Machado struck out swinging.

In the bottom of the third inning, with the score still 0-0, Kim batted second. Once again, Kim harassed the opposing pitcher, forcing him to throw a total of seven pitches. After a first-pitch body strike, the second pitch was a high ball. The third pitch was a surprise bunt that was fouled off. Facing a 1-2 count, Kim persevered, fouling off pitches four and five. The sixth pitch was a ball. On a 2-2 pitch count, Kim pulled a 91.2 mph four-seam fastball hard on the seventh pitch. The ball was hit deep between the third baseman and shortstop, where Ezequiel Duran barely caught it and made a non-stop throw to first base, but Kim reached first.
In just two at-bats, Kim was in great form… Kim Ha-seong’s determination and the opposing catcher’s unsportsmanlike conduct led to the ‘injury’.
Kim Hae-sung reached base in just two at-bats. It was a moment that showed just how good Kim was at the plate and on the field, but the inning was the last we would see of him. After Fernando Tatis Jr. flied out to center field, Soto drew a walk to move Kim to second. Machado followed with a single to right, advancing Kim to third. San Diego’s chance to tie the game. The next batter, Xander Bogaerts, flied out to center field.

This is where Kim’s unfortunate injury happened. Texas center fielder Leandro Taveras caught the ball and threw it home. At the same time, Kim charged home as soon as the ball was caught. Taveras’ home run was bounded once and then drifted backwards without getting into the mitt of Sam Huff. At this point, Kim flew up and attempted a two-handed slide with his right hand outstretched, but Huff completely blocked home plate with his knee, preventing Kim from initially touching home plate with his right hand. At the same time, his right hand was blocked by Huff’s knee, sending the full force of the impact to Kim’s shoulder.

A dizzying moment that could have dislocated Kim’s shoulder if he had lunged head-on instead of sidestepping and diving. It was an unsportsmanlike play by Huff that clearly violated the home plate collision rule. Kim crawled to his feet and touched home again, and the umpire spread his arms to indicate the save. Kim clutched his right shoulder in pain after the slide, but he showed great determination to try and get a shot at home plate. In the end, Kim’s run was awarded. However, Kim couldn’t stay on the field any longer due to an injury. He was replaced by Mashu Batten in the bottom of the fourth inning, ending his career.

It’s no exaggeration to say that home plate is a battleground in baseball, and catchers can unwittingly block it, especially in crucial situations. In the past, some players have even physically charged and pushed the catcher for making such unsportsmanlike behavior. In recent years, however, this has become much less common with the introduction of home plate collision rules. But in this case, Huff was already blocking home plate with his knee before the ball even hit his glove.

Luckily, Kim’s injury doesn’t appear to be too serious. According to Kevin Ace of the San Diego Union-Tribune on August 31, San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, “Kim’s right shoulder is a little tight. He’s probably not going to be able to play tomorrow (Aug. 1), but we’ll check his status every day,” and placed him on the 1-day disabled list. It’s unlikely to be a serious injury as he’s been placed on the day-to-day list. The Padres, who won 5-3 behind Kim’s pitching performance, will host the Colorado Rockies on April 1 at Coors Field. For now, Kim will be rested for the first game against Colorado.

“I’m going to take a day off and see how I’m doing”, Kim Ha-sung “I’ll see how I’m doing tomorrow and if I’m okay, I want to play right away”
Kim Ha-seong also spoke to local media and said that he is feeling fine. In a video posted on social media by Marty Caswell of San Diego Sports 760, a local radio station in San Diego, Kim said, “At the time of the collision, (my shoulder) wasn’t good, but as time went on, it got better. (The examination) showed that there was nothing wrong with the bone. I think it could be better or worse after I wake up tomorrow. We’ll have to see how it is tomorrow,” he said. Kim went on to explain the circumstances of the home run collision, saying, “When I was sliding, the catcher blocked it with his knee. Even if it was called an out, I think it would have been overturned as a save if there was a video review.” The coach suggested a day’s rest, but the determined Kim had no desire to rest. “I’ll see how I feel tomorrow and if it’s okay, I’ll play right away. I want to return to the starting lineup as soon as possible,” he said.온라인바카

Kim has been on a roll in the offense lately. Over his last 16 games, he’s batting .379 (22-for-58) with four home runs, eight RBIs, and five doubles. In 101 games this season, Kim is batting .279 with 14 home runs, 39 RBIs, 57 runs scored, a .374 on-base percentage, a .447 slugging percentage and a .821 OPS. Against Texas, he went 1-for-1 with a walk and a run scored, extending his hitting streak to six games and his multi-hit streak to eight games. His Korean mentor, LG Twins manager Yoon Kyung-yeop, spent time with the San Diego Padres in 2021. “The home fans in San Diego really like him because he gives his all in every play, whether it’s hitting, running the bases, or playing defense. Even now, when I watch him play, I can feel his desperation. Fans are all the same. You can’t help but love a player who works hard. He’s definitely established himself as a player who can play in the major leagues for the next 10 years.” And it was a game that showed the kind of dedication that is Kim’s hallmark.

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