Injuries end chase, Hanwha’s home run title clinched after 15 years Noh aims for triple crown of RBIs and runs scored
Hanwha’s Noh Si-hwan (23) has booked his first career home run title. The top spot is up for grabs as home run runner-up Choi Jung (36-SSG) ended the regular season with an injury.
SSG removed Choi from the first-team roster ahead of the game against the Kiwoom Literature on April 13. Choi strained his left hamstring while playing first base against Gwangju KIA on the 10th, and while it’s not a major injury due to micro-damage, he’ll need to be protected for about a week. He will miss the next four games to prepare for the postseason.
Choi added three more home runs last week to move within two of Noh, who was away at the Hangzhou Asian Games. The veteran’s ability to drive in runs made it look like Noh would be untouchable down the stretch, but an injury halted the chase.
With Choi finishing the season with 29 home runs, it was clear that Noh, who leads the category with 31 home runs, would be crowned the first home run king. Third-place Chae Eun-sung (Hanwha) is eight behind Noh with 23, making it nearly impossible to overturn in Hanwha’s remaining three games.
In doing so, Noh will become the third player in history to win the home run title for Hanwha, joining Jang Jong-hoon and Kim Tae-gyun. Jang Jong-hoon won three consecutive home run titles from 1990-1992 with 28, 35, and 41, respectively, 먹튀검증토토사이트 while Kim Tae-gyun won the title in 2008 with 31. It’s been 15 years since then.
Noh has three games left at home against Daejeon on April 14-16. He has a chance to clinch the home run title, as well as the RBI and on-base percentage titles.
With 99 RBIs, Noh leads the category by four points over second-place Socrates Brito (KIA-95). Hanwha also has one more game to play than KIA, giving Roh an advantage. Hanwha has only had two players reach the 100-RBI mark four times: Yoo Seung-an in 1988 (85) and Jang Jong-hoon from 1990-1992 (91-114-119).
With one more RBI, he will become the fourth player in KBO history to hit 30 home runs and 100 RBI in a season under the age of 23. Only three other players have done it: Jang Jong-hoon of Bingre in 1991 (35 homers and 114 RBIs), Park Jae-hong of Hyundai in 1996 (30 homers and 108 RBIs), and Lee Seung-yeop of Samsung in 1997-1999 (32 homers and 114 RBIs, 38 homers and 102 RBIs, 54 homers and 123 RBIs).
In the on-base percentage category, Noh leads the way (.5478), with Choi Jung in second place (.5477). With Choi’s record as the last one standing, it’s up to Noh to make it happen. The top batting average for Hanwha has been held by three players, Jang Jong-hoon (.545-.640-.659) from 1990-1992, Jang Jong-hoon (.562) in 1995, Song Ji-ji (.622) in 2000, and Kim Tae-gyun (.622) in 2008, for a total of six titles.
The final three games have several records on the line for Noh. Hanwha only needs to win one game to avoid the humiliation of finishing 10th for the fourth consecutive year. Noh’s bat is the best bet to secure the title.