Captain Chae Eun-sung, the ‘hero of the 6-game losing streak’

6연패 탈출 주역' 캡틴 채은성, 왜 팬들에게 "감사하고 죄송하다" 했을까

“I’m grateful and I’m sorry, because we’re not getting good results under the spotlight, and we’re disappointed, but they always support us.”

Hanwha Eagles captain Chae Eun-sung, 34, thanked fans for their unwavering support during the team’s recent six-game losing streak, but also apologized. Hanwha set a new home sellout record for 14 consecutive games ahead of its game against the Doosan Bears in the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League on Sunday at the Daejeon Hanwha Life Eagles Park. As of 4:29 p.m., all 12,000 seats had been sold. The 14 consecutive home games is the most consecutive home games sold out in KBO history. The streak began on October 16, 2023, against the Lotte Giants in the final game of last season, and the team has sold out every home game this season (13 games).

Hanwha fans had high hopes for a different Hanwha this year. Ace Ryu Hyun-jin ended his Major League Baseball career in the United States and signed an eight-year, 17 billion won contract in February. In the free agent market, the team signed Ahn Chi-hong for 4+2 years and 7.8 billion won ($7.8 million) and added much-needed veterans at weak positions, including Lee Jae-won and Kim Kang-min. In addition, this year’s rookie Hwang Jun-seo, Moon Dong-joo, Kim Seo-hyun, and other former first-round picks or first-overall picks have been evaluated as capable of reaching the top five if they develop quickly and synergize. That’s why it was hard to find empty seats at every home game in Daejeon this year.

Hanwha had a tough time throughout the month of April, not just during their recent six-game losing streak. They finished last in April with a 5-16 record and a .238 winning percentage. After leading the league in March with a 7-1 record, Hanwha has now fallen to eighth place with a 12-17 record and a 0.414 winning percentage. Hanwha fans could have expressed their disappointment during the team’s steep downward spiral, but they stayed in the stadium and cheered on their players.

Hanwha finally broke through on the 27th against Doosan in Daejeon. The 10-5 victory snapped their losing streak. Hanwha made the decision to enroll hitting coach Kang Dong-woo in the first team and demote hitting coach Jeong Hyun-seok to the Future team ahead of the game, and the bats exploded thanks to the shock therapy. They pounded out 12 hits in the first and second innings, igniting the will to end the losing streak. The center field lineup of No. 3 Peraza (2 hits, 3 RBIs), No. 4 Roh Si-hwan (3 hits, 3 RBIs), and No. 5 Chae Eun-sung (1 hit, 3 RBIs) combined for nine hits.

Chae Eun-sung delivered the game-winning hit that signaled the end of the losing streak. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the first inning, Chae hit a three-RBI double to center field to give Hanwha a 3-0 lead and set the stage for the team to snap the losing streak.

After the game, Chae Eun-sung said, “I’m glad we won today (July 27). During the losing streak, there were a lot of situations where we were passive in scoring position. For example, if the first batter couldn’t solve it, I couldn’t solve it, but the batters behind me often couldn’t solve it. We were on a losing streak, so I wanted to try and help out a little bit, try and get us a run somehow, and I think it worked out well,” he said.

They also wanted to repay their fans for their support. It couldn’t have been easy for the players to 토토사이트 watch the fans who filled the stadium day after day go home disappointed with the loss.

Chae Eun-sung said, “Tomorrow (Aug. 28) will probably be a new record for consecutive home games sold out. I’m grateful and sorry. In fact, we’re sorry that we haven’t been able to produce good results in the face of so much attention. That’s what keeps us going, that’s what keeps us going, that’s what keeps us going on the field. I think we should always try to have good games and good wins. We’re players,” he said encouragingly.

The players also tried to prepare themselves for the change in hitting coach before the game. “Actually, there is a limit to how much the coaches can help us. No matter how much they help us, in the end, if we can’t win, if we can’t solve it (it’s useless). In the end, the players have to do it. We have a lot of senior players now, so even if we lose all the time, we keep raising our spirits and try to do it with a new feeling the next day.”

Chae Eun-sung has had her own personal struggles with injuries and slumps. In 22 games this season, she is batting just .224 (19-for-85) with two home runs, 15 RBIs, and a .633 OPS. That’s 토토사이트 far from the kind of center fielder Han is expected to be. She was on the disabled list for ten days from July 13 to 22 with a thumb contusion.

“I’m a senior player, and I’m the captain, so I should have been able to provide strength and support at a crucial time,” said Chae Eun-sung. I think it was a little more so during the losing streak. I think the players were all under a lot of pressure,” he reflected.

“My fingers hurt, but I just couldn’t do it. I think I kept trying to find a good balance. The coaches helped me a lot and thought about it a lot,” he added, vowing to build on the victory and the final hit to improve his performance.

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