Lee Jung-hoo faces ‘3-hit’ Araesu with ‘3 RBI’s’

The pace is slowly picking up now. Lee Jung-hoo (San Francisco Giants), the “grandson of the wind” who has hit in seven consecutive games, was never outmatched in his first battle with the batting champion. He showed the best of his slugging prowess.

Lee started in center field against the Miami Marlins at Rondipo Park in Miami, Florida, on Saturday and went 1-for-4 with a double, one RBI, one run scored and one walk.

Extending his hitting streak to seven games, Lee recorded his first multi-hit game in six days and his fifth multi-hit game of the season since April 10 against the Washington Nationals. It was also his third three-hit game of the season. Lee raised his batting average to .258 (17-for-66). San Francisco held on for a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Miami.

The game was the first matchup between Lee and last year’s National League batting champion, Luis Arajes. Arajes won the batting title with the Minnesota Twins in 2022 and the Miami Marlins in 2023, making him the first hitter to win both major league batting titles in two years. He was also the best hitter in all of baseball in terms of contact and initiative.

Araúez was mentioned alongside Lee before the season started. MLB.com, citing baseball’s statistical forecasting system Steamer, projected Lee’s strikeout rate to be 9.1 percent this year, second only to Arajes’ 7.1 percent. In fact, Lee’s strikeout rate since the start of the season is 9.5 percent, while Araes’ is 10.4 percent, and his walk rate is 9.2 percent, while Araes’ is 10.2 percent.

Lee was also considered one of the best hitters in the KBO when it came to contact and initiative, so his matchup with Araes was one of the more interesting ones.

In his first at-bat in the top of the first inning, Lee drove a 97.1 mph (156.3 km/h) fastball high and away off Miami’s right-handed starter Edward Cabrera on a 2-pitch, 2-strike count to left-center field. He then tried to steal second, but was thrown out at the plate by Miami catcher Nick Fortes. Fortes’ throw was caught by second baseman Araes, who tagged Lee.

Lee broke the deadlock in the top of the fourth inning when his team was down 0-3. After letting a first-pitch strike slip through his fingers, he drew four consecutive walks to load the bases. He then stole third on Jorge Soler’s single to right and came home on Michael Conforto’s RBI single to give the team its first run. After retiring the side in order in the top of the fifth on a fly ball to center, Jung-Hoo Lee came to the plate in the top of the seventh. After Cabrera was relieved in the top of the seventh, Patrick Bailey’s sacrifice fly made it 2-3 and Nick Ahmed walked to load the bases with two outs. With Lee at the plate, Miami switched pitchers to Andrew Nardi, who appeared to 토토 be wary of Lee.

But Lee persevered, fouling off three consecutive foul pitches while facing a one-pitch, two-strike count, and then lined a 94.5-mph fastball just outside the zone for a game-tying RBI single to left field. Lee’s RBI single gave San Francisco momentum, and Wilmer Flores followed with a two-out, 1-3 double to make it a 4-3 game. Lee was retired in order in the top of the ninth inning on a groundout to first base.

Araes was not far behind Lee, going 4-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored. In his first at-bat in the first inning, he took advantage of a wild pitch and lined a single to right field, then in his second at-bat in the second inning, he took a two-pitch, two-strike count with a five-pitch slider that was well outside the zone and lined it like a bullet to center field, scoring on Brian de la Cruz’s double.

Araes, who retired the side in order in his third at-bat in the fifth inning, laid down a sacrifice bunt with the bases loaded in the seventh, and in his final at-bat with two outs in the ninth, he pulled a full-count slider in the middle of the plate that dropped in front of the right-field fence.

Lee will face Araes twice more over the next two days on July 17-18. But Lee, who countered Araes’ three-hit performance in their first meeting with a “three-hitter,” was not to be outdone. The anticipation for the “Grandson of the Wind” is growing.


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