The SSG Landers ended their season finale against the LG Twins with a loss due to a disappointing officiating decision.
SSG lost 1-2 to LG in their final home game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season on April 21 at SSG Landers Field in Michuhol-gu, Incheon, South Korea. With the loss, SSG remained in fifth place with 63 wins, two draws, and 60 losses, one game ahead of the sixth-place KIA Tigers. LG, on the other hand, has won six straight games to improve to 76 wins, two draws, and 47 losses, and remain in first place, six games ahead of second-place KT Wiz.
The decisive moment came in the top of the eighth inning when LG took a 2-0 lead. Park Sung-hyun hit a four-pitch pitch from Baek Seung-hyun that sailed past the glove of LG first baseman Kim Min-sung and into the body of first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong. Han Yoo-seom, the first baseman, tried to steal second base and waited for umpire Woo Hyo-dong’s first call, then took first base again when the umpire opened his arms to call the ball dead. Meanwhile, Park Sung-eun reached first base and the runners overlapped.
The first step was to determine whether Park’s pitch hit Kim Min-sung’s glove or not. After a four-judge consensus, a fair call was made, and the LG bench immediately requested a video review of the foul/fair call. After 11 minutes of video review, the umpires upheld the original ruling that Park’s pitch was a fair and declared the first baseman, Han Yoo-seom, tagged out.
SSG head coach Kim Won-hyung protested the call, and it took the umpires nearly 10 minutes to convince him. Kim was then ejected for appealing the video review.
The complex situation required the KBO to make a judgment call. The KBO said, “Park Sung-hwan’s pitch was in play when it passed through the first baseman’s glove, was declared fair, and then hit the umpire. The video replay center stopped play when the ball hit the umpire, but even if the umpire had declared fair immediately, Han Yoo-seom would not have made it to second base, so he was ruled out.”
However, the umpire’s decision to call Han Yoo-seom out still stings. Right after the ball hit Woo Hyo-dong’s body, there was a delay as he waited for the call. There were no LG players near first base, and who knows what would have happened if the call had been made sooner. Furthermore, Han Yoo-seom was not tagged at any point during his return to first base, even when he stole second base and returned to first base after the dead ball was called, but was officially recorded as tagged out.
Han Yoo-seom was frustrated in the dugout after the call, but the game went on. Despite being overshadowed by the chaos at the end of the game, the mounds of both teams put on a masterful 스포츠토토 pitching performance. LG starter Kelly showed excellent command of the game, going six innings and four hits, striking out five and walking none to pick up his ninth win of the season. SSG starter Song Young-jin, a rookie, took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits (one home run) with one walk and one strikeout in two innings of work, but aside from a home run hit by Austin Dean (LG), he was solid.
Roenis Elias, who came on in relief of Song, pitched the remaining seven innings (81 pitches), allowing one run on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts.