The San Diego Padres’ Kim Ha-seong has been struggling to get his batting average above .251.
Kim went 0-for-2 as a pinch-hitter against the Cleveland Indians at Petco Park on Friday (July 15).
Kim pinch-hit for leadoff hitter Lugned O’Dowd in the bottom of the sixth inning with a 2-0 lead, but was retired on a grounder to second base. On a 1B2S count, he drove a four-pitch 80-mph curveball from left-hander Sam Hentges for a grounder. In his second at-bat of the eighth inning with a 5-0 lead, he flied out to right field. He swung at an 86-mph slider from right-hander Javier Curry and missed, sailing into the right-field seats.메이저사이트
The last time he had a hit was on April 10 against the Colorado Rockies. In the four games since then, he has gone 1-for-10 with two walks, two strikeouts and two runs scored. His last home run was a solo shot to right-center field off Trevor Williams in the fifth inning of a road game against the Washington Nationals on May 25. He had gone 21 days and 17 games without a cannon before that.
Kim was left out of the starting batting order, a move that could be attributed to his recent form. His opponent was right-hander Aaron Servais. Kim is hitting .221 against righties and .253 against lefties this season. O’Dowd, who started at second base in place of Kim, had a strikeout and a walk in his two at-bats. O’Dowd, who is batting .216, isn’t exactly struggling at the plate either.
His batting average dropped to .234 (46-for-197), but his five home runs, 20 RBI, 26 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases remained the same. His OPS also dropped to .692.
It’s worth noting that Kim’s batting average has rarely risen above .251. After adjusting to a .202 batting average in 2021, his rookie season, Kim hit .251 (130 of 517) in regular season at-bats last year. His OPS+ of 106 was also above average overall.
However, since hitting .262 in the 12th game of the season, his best average this year is .251, which came in a 3-for-2 performance against the Chicago Cubs on June 6. Coincidentally, that’s his batting average from last year. That was the point where he was slowly getting his batting average up, but since then, it’s been back down to the 2.4s and 2.3s. 0.251 feels like a wall of magic.
While Kim’s defense is among the best in the majors, his hitting has been below average this season. All major league hitters have an average batting average of 0.248 and an average OPS of 0.729 this season. Kim’s adjusted OPS is 97, which is below 100.
In his first at-bat as a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the sixth inning, Kim was left scratching his head when a 94-mph fastball was called a strike after three pitches. It didn’t look like he was unhappy with the call, but more like his bat wasn’t coming out the way he thought it should.
However, Kim still ranks sixth in the NL and first on the team in WAR. His defensive WAR of 1.9 still leads both leagues combined. In second place is Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Keybrian Hayes, who has a 1.4 WAR.
Meanwhile, San Diego cruised to a 5-0 victory behind 6⅔ scoreless innings from starter Michael Wacha and four home runs from Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Riding a two-game winning streak, San Diego is now 33-34 and on pace to return to the .500 mark.