The official network of Major League Baseball (MLB) Network took to social media on Monday (July 29) to highlight the performance of 28-year-old San Diego Padres pitcher Ha-Sung Kim. MLB Network has a pattern of highlighting hot players and issues on social media, and it was hard to ignore Kim’s recent performance.
And for good reason. Already considered one of the best defensive players in the majors, Kim has also been making some big plays on offense. In the 12 games prior to his game against Pittsburgh on Sept. 29, he had put together a stellar offensive production. MLB Network took notice.
MLB Network highlighted the offense in a piece titled “Kim’s Last 12 Games. According to MLB Network, Kim was batting .395 (17-for-43) with three home runs, nine doubles, nine RBIs, nine runs scored, and a 1.075 OPS. He was getting a lot of hits, and a lot of them were for extra bases. He was a bright spot in a struggling San Diego offense.
Manager Bob Melvin even used him as a leadoff hitter, but he was the victim of an unfair call in Game 29 and ended up going hitless. In the first inning, on a 2B-2S count, an umpire called a ball outside the zone for a strike. Kim, who usually doesn’t show his frustration with umpire calls, was not pleased.
The Umpire Scorecard, which analyzes the accuracy of umpires’ calls, ranked the call as the third-worst call of the game. Worst calls are judged based on the severity of the officiating error and the circumstances of the game. For example, even the most egregious call would be ranked lower in the eighth inning of a 10-0 game, as the player’s frustration would not have a significant impact on the outcome of the game.
However, since Kim was still in the early stages of the game, this one call made his odds of winning more volatile, and he ended up at #3 on the list of worst calls. But Kim wasn’t the only one who got screwed; San Diego batters in general got screwed that day.
Pittsburgh starter Mitch Keller has a fastball that sits in the mid-to-low 90s, along with a slider and a variety of other pitches. It’s very difficult for right-handed hitters to hit Keller outside of the zone, but that’s exactly what umpire Chad Fairchild did on this day. In the first at-bat (Sanchez in the second inning) and the second (Machado in the sixth inning), he called balls outside the zone for strikes.카지노
While unintentional, Fairchild’s calls on the day were analyzed as increasing Pittsburgh’s expected run differential by +1.53. It was a bad enough day for San Diego to feel like they were getting the short end of the stick.
But Kim wiped it clean and focused on the 30th, eventually going 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. The numbness continued. The team lost 4-5, but Kim’s play was not the problem. His ninth home run of the season in the fourth inning pushed him into double digits.
June is the hottest month of his career. In addition to batting .291 (25-for-86) in June, he has four home runs and 12 RBIs. His OPS, which is the sum of his on-base percentage (.361) and slugging percentage (.477), is 0.838. In his last 14 games since June 16, he’s batting .373 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, and a 1.058 OPS. It feels like Kim’s best days are ahead of him.