Home Run King Noh Si-hwan is no longer lonely

For quite a long time, Noh Si-hwan (24, Hanwha Eagles) endured lonely in the lineup.

He was not alone. Making his professional debut in 2019, Noh has been active as the fourth batter since 2021. In 2021, second baseman Golden Glove winner Jung Eun-won was in front. In 2022, foreign hitter Mike Tuckman displayed stellar performance. Last year, veteran Chae Eun-seong was hired as a free agent and became Roh’s mentor.

But that was it. If you cover Roh Si-hwan’s front, the back is empty. If you support the back, the front is empty. The attack should be carried out by nine people, but Roh Si-hwan had to face the opposing pitcher alone or two. The opponent did not fight Roh Si-hwan. There were many manned balls instead of game balls.

In 2022, Roh ultimately collapsed. “I hit 18 home runs in 2021, and I thought I would continue to rise. Looking back, I was a bit complacent at the time,” Roh said. “At the beginning of 2022, I hit the same number as in 2021. When I got stressed about home runs, I was pulling too hard without realizing it.”

Roh had a batting average of 0.389 in the eighth game last year. However, he only has a batting average of 0.207 when he played eight games this year. Roh already proved his capability with 31 homers and 101 RBIs last year. Clubs, players, and fans need not be in a hurry. Still, if the fourth batter is sluggish, he could be caught, but nobody cares about Roh’s poor performance. Hanwha is doing well.

The Hanwha Eagles is leading the league with seven wins and one loss as of Tuesday. It lost the opening game alone, but is on a winning streak of seven consecutive games. It is even more thrilling because there is no drama series during the winning streak. Both pitching and hitting are just so powerful. The starting pitcher will keep the mound until the middle of the game, and the batters will explode in the meantime. The bullpen also has strong fastball bullpen pitcher lineup, which is protected by “Mr. Zero” Joo Hyun-sang, closing pitcher Park Sang-won, and surprise star Han Seung-hyuk. Even if Noh Si-hwan is sluggish for a while, his team is ranking first in scoring thanks to the performances of Jonathan Peraza, Moon Hyun-bin, and Chae Eun-sung. Noh is also adding strength by hitting three home runs and nine RBIs.

Noh is neither nervous nor overly optimistic. He is enjoying his team’s winning streak, but doing his part. During the period of his consecutive wins, Noh is playing as a “fighting machine.” It has become like a jinx for Hanwha’s players to cheer up before the game from the LG Twins in Jamsil on March 24 to the KT Wiz in Daejeon on March 31.

On the 29th, when ace Ryu Hyun-jin took the mound, Noh said, “The first starters will play together. We have to help.” On the 30th, when his sixth consecutive victory was achieved, Noh said, “We are the object of fear among all teams. If you trust yourself and face each other, the opponent gets scared.” Before the game on the 31st, when he completed his seven-game winning streak, he said, “I’m in a bad mood these days, but thank you so much for winning. Today is Jun-su’s first start since his debut. We have to help him,” encouraging the team.

Baseball is a team sport. Even if it wasn’t for this year, players’ slogan is always “we.” However, “we” used to be just “me” when their performance was poor. Noh Si-hwan, Chae Eun-sung, and before that, Ryu Hyun-jin and Kim Tae-kyun were also struggling to overcome the burden of “I have to do it.” Hanwha has achieved seven consecutive wins, which has changed. Looking back after the end of the season, seven consecutive wins may turn out to be a “sunshine dream.” Still, it seems that Noh will not be lonely anymore. That’s why the fact that Hanwha has changed does not change much.

BY: 토토

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