Lee Jae-hak started the game against the Samsung Lions at the “2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League” held at the Samsung Lions Park in Daegu on Sunday. He allowed six hits (two homers), four strikeouts, two walks and six runs in three ⅓ innings, and lost three games (0 win).

Early in the game, Lee Jae-hak was cruising. Until the bottom of the second inning, he sent out only one runner (Kim Ji-chan had a hit in the middle of the first inning). However, he started to falter from the bottom of the third inning when his team was leading 1-0. Two outs later, he gave up a walk to Kim Ji-chan. When he threw the second pitch to Lee Jae-hyun with the ball count 0-1, the first baseman Kim Ji-chan rushed to the second base, and allowed a stolen base, making it two outs and a runner on the second base.

Lee Jae-hak then threw two more balls and one strike, resulting in a full count. At that moment, NC manager Kang In-kwon rushed to the ground in a hurry and started protesting against the referee team. This was the situation. Kang claimed that Lee Jae-hak’s two pitches passed the strike zone under the ABS (automatic pitching judgment system), but the referee declared a ball, not a strike, and thus did not strike out.

Shortly thereafter, four referees, including referee Moon Seung-hoon and referee Lee Min-ho, the chief referee, gathered on the ground to discuss the situation. After about eight minutes of discussion, the conclusion was that the original trial was maintained due to the expiration of the prescription. Referee Lee Min-ho held a microphone and told fans, “The ball (Lee Jae-hak’s second pitch) that Kim Ji-chan pitched when he stole was delivered as a ‘ball’ by voice to the referee. However, after checking the ABS monitor, it was determined as a strike,” he said. “NC appealed, but according to regulations, we have to protest before the next pitch starts. We will proceed with the original trial because the statute of limitations has passed.”

And then the game started over again. In a strange way, Lee Jae-hak started to be hit hard by Samsung’s batters. After getting an RBI triple by Koo Ja-wook with two outs and runners on the first and second bases with Lee Jae-hyun on a walk, Lee Jae-hak contributed a timely two-run homer to David McKinnon and lost the lead 1-3. Lee took the mound in the bottom of the fourth inning when his team narrowed the score gap to 2-3 as well, but something didn’t seem to work out. He managed to get one out count by treating leadoff hitter Kim Young-woong with three strikeouts, but allowed a solo shot by Lee Seong-gyu and a two-run homerun by Kim Jae-sang, widening the gap to 2-6.

In the end, Lee left the mound after a match against Kim Jae-sang, leaving the record of six runs in three ⅓ innings. The team fell to its knees, 5-12, losing the momentum of its pursuit.

However, a rather shocking voice is heard through the relay screen. The discussion situation of the four judges was transmitted in the bottom of the third inning. The referee was caught talking to the referee, which became a problem. Referee Lee Min-ho told referee Moon Seung-hoon, “Tell them that the voice was clearly recognized as a ball. We’re going to get out of it. This is the only thing we can do. Voice is a ball. Do you understand? It’s a ball, so do it for now. If we don’t want to break it,” the scene where the referee, who made a mistake, didn’t admit to his mistake, but rather handed over the responsibility to ABS equipment.

The ABS gave a “strike” decision. A worker in the situation room of the ABS in the KBO also heard the robot referee’s “strike call.” Rumors are rising that referee Moon Seung-hoon and third base judge Choo Pyong-ho, who heard the ABS voice, missed the decision. In this situation, suspicions are rising among fans that referee Lee Min-ho colluded with his teammates to make a judgment to prevent the spread of fire to the referee. Currently, the KBO requested a report from the referees at the Daegu Samsung-NC match on Thursday. Some predict that if the referees tried to blame the bad calls on the machine, severe punishment would be inevitable.

If the referee made the wrong decision, the KBO will be held accountable. However, Lee Jae-hak cannot compensate for his injury. This is because a game that has already ended cannot be turned back. Lee Jae-hak’s record of six runs in three ⅓ innings in Daegu Samsung-NC match on April 14, 2024 is not erased even after decades or centuries have passed.

Although there is no such thing as if the referee had listened to the ABS call and made the right decision, there is an opinion that the outcome of Lee Jae-hak may be different. There is only regret over what it would have been like if Lee Jae-hyun had been struck out to end the inning and if he had not cooled down for eight minutes due to unnecessary discussion. In terms of numbers, the entire baseball record could have changed beyond Lee Jae-hak’s 2024 season.

Lee Jae-hak made his KBO league debut as a member of the Doosan Bears in 2010, and this year marks his 15th year as a professional baseball player. In the 2013-2016 season, he recorded double-digit wins for the fourth consecutive year. However, he has been sluggish in recent years. That’s why he was even more desperate. He increased his ball speed in the offseason and did his best to revive the team by adding new cutters. And he joined the starting lineup as the fourth starter this year because his efforts paid off. However, Lee Jae-hak finished his fourth game of the season by posting a bitter record of pitching in five innings or less as well as the worst pitching in the season amid controversy over umpires’ collusion with ball judgment.

Lee Jae-hak’s six hits (two homers) four strikeouts, two walks and six runs in three ⅓ innings will forever go down in KBO history.

BY: 토토사이트링크

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