Samsung outfielder Yoon Jung-bin (24) hit a pinch-hit home run to tie the game. Felix Peña (33-Hanwha), who blew the game-winning run with a single pitch, was not smiling after throwing well.
Peña started the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO 메이저사이트 League home game against Samsung at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Wednesday, giving up two runs (one earned) on five hits (one home run) with four walks and four strikeouts in seven innings of a quality start, but was pulled from a 2-2 tie and left without a win.
After retiring eight straight batters in the first and second innings, Peña continued his momentum with a triple in the third. In the fourth inning, Jose Pirela’s infield single and Do-Yoon Lee’s throwing error put runners on first and second with one out, but Kang Min-ho singled to right-center field and Kim Dong-yeop struck out Ahn Joo-hyung and Kim Dong-yeop to end the inning without further damage.
After inducing a double play to end the fifth inning with runners on first and second, Peña continued to settle down in the sixth, inducing three consecutive infield grounders down the middle of the order of Pirela, Guzauk, and Kang Min-ho. By the end of the sixth, he had thrown just 77 pitches. In the seventh inning, Peña struck out Ahn Joo-hyung and got Kim Dong-yeop to ground out to shortstop for two easy outs.
But then he gave up a home run to an unexpected batter. Yoon Jung-bin, who hadn’t hit a home run in 24 games and 23 at-bats in his first-team career, gave up the decisive blow. Pinch-hitting for Oh Jae-il, Jung-bin Yoon lined Peña’s four-pitch fastball low to the body on a 2-1 count and sent it over the top of the deepest center field backscreen in Eagles Park. A big 135-meter home run. Peña realized it was a home run the moment it hit the ground, and he sat back and looked devastated.
“I knew the pitcher was going to be aggressive,” said Yoon, whose first home run was a thrilling pinch-hit tiebreaker. I went in thinking that I’m going to swing at anything I see. The fastball came in and I swung hard. When it hit, I didn’t think it would go over. I just tried to run to third base,” he said of his first home run.
Yoon, who was drafted by Samsung with the 42nd overall pick in the fifth round of the 2018 secondary draft after graduating from Bucheon High School, had batted 9-for-1 with two RBIs in 22 at-bats in 24 first-team games before today. The military veteran has been developed as one of Samsung’s top outfield prospects, and he proved it with his first home run in his debut.
After tying the game with a home run by Yoon Jeong-bin, Samsung broke the game open with a four-run eighth inning to complete a 7-2 comeback victory. With runners on first and second in the eighth, Hanwha made a gamble by pulling reliever Park Sang-won early, but Koo Ja-rook singled up the middle, followed by a walk to Kang Min-ho, a double by pinch-hitter Kim Tae-gun and an RBI single to center by Kim Dong-yeop.
Coming down with the game tied at 2-2, Peña missed the game-winning pitch by one pitch. After giving up the game-winning home run to Yoon Jung-bin, he struck out the next batter, Lee Jae-hyun, on a wild pitch, but couldn’t hide his disappointment. Peña’s total for the day was 97 pitches, 60 strikes and 37 balls. He topped out at 150km and averaged 148km with a fastball (44), slider (34) and changeup (19). After six straight quality starts, Peña was content to lower his ERA from 3.50 to 3.25.