“It’s okay, it’s part of the game, don’t worry about it.” “I need to see you in person and apologize.”
SSG Landers outfielder Han Yoo-seom (34) started with junior pitcher Lee Byung-heon 메이저놀이터(20, Doosan Bears), who should have been more surprised by the dune that could have led to a serious injury. Even in a situation where he could have been angry, Young-gun understood that he was struggling with his pitches and expressed his hope that Lee Byung-hun would not be bothered by the issue anymore. After the game, Lee was informed that he was going to the second team and contacted Hanyusum, saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t meet you in person and apologize,” and repeatedly bowed his head.
On the 26th, Hanyusum faced Lee in the top of the fifth inning against Doosan in Jamsil. Lee was having an off night, throwing 43 pitches in 1⅔ innings, striking out four and walking five. The Doosan bench was unable to make a quick pitching change, as starter Kim Min-kyu was pulled early after just 2⅔ innings and the second pitcher, Lee Byung-hun, was not available. With the bases loaded, they kept Lee in the game against left-hander Han Yoo-seom and kept Lee Young-ha in the bullpen.
Lee continued to struggle against Hanyusum, falling behind 3-0 in the count. He worked his way up to a full count, but then a six-pitch, 147-kilometer-per-hour fastball slipped through and landed on Han Yoo-seom’s shoulder. There was a loud crack as it hit the top of his shoulder, ripping his helmet off and sending him crashing to the ground. As soon as Han went down, Lee froze in place, walking over to him and checking on him.
Luckily, it didn’t lead to any major injuries. After being replaced by substitute Kim Kang-min, Hanyusum was examined at the hospital and was told that there was nothing wrong with him. SSG coach Kim Won-hyung said, “He’s in good shape. I think he was hit on the helmet side of his shoulder, so he was fine,” he said.
Lee Byung-heon was substituted for a medical checkup and apologized to Hanyusum after following him to the dugout. Han patted him on the shoulder and hoped that the young pitcher would not be too hard on himself. Lee was immediately replaced by Lee Young-ha, who was reportedly so surprised by his performance that he could not easily compose himself in the locker room after the substitution.
Han Yu-seom ⓒReporter Kwak Hye-mi
Han Yu-seom ⓒKyung Hye-mi Reporter
Doosan coach Lee Seung-yup removed Lee Byung-heon from the first-team roster before the 27th match against SSG in Jamsil. “We were surprised, but we are the same baseball player, so we didn’t intentionally hit him, and Lee Byung-hun himself was surprised. We were also worried because the head is always dangerous, even though we are the opposing team,” Lee said.
He continued, “Lee Byung-heon threw a lot of pitches yesterday (June 26), and there were a lot of balls. (Kim) Kang-ryul was resting because he wasn’t feeling well, and (Kim) Myung-shin also needed to rest, so it was difficult to make a quick substitution. The strike rate dropped significantly in the second inning. I had to give Byung-heon a rest today anyway, but I was forced to make a change because we didn’t have enough pitchers. Byung-heon can go down to the second team, make adjustments, and come back up if he has a good outing. For now, I thought it was the right thing to do,” he added.
Byung-heon made an apology call to Hanyusum after the game on the 26th. Doosan captain Heo Kyung-min first contacted him to check on his physical condition and apologize. “I wanted to meet you in person and apologize, but I couldn’t because I had to go down to the second team. I’m sorry,” and bowed once more.
Han Yusum told him, “Don’t worry about it, it’s part of the game. Prepare well and make it to the first team,” he replied.
Hanyusum and Lee Byung-heon ⓒReporter Kwak Hye-mi