“It’s not smooth sailing”: How Hanwha’s Eunwon Jung is dealing with growing pains

Hanwha Eagles’ Jung Eun-won (24) gave manager Choi Won-ho his 100th win in his first start in center field.

Hanwha defeated the Kia Tigers 4-2 on March 3 at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju. With the win, Choi earned his 100th career victory. Choi took over as acting head coach in June 2020 while serving as the Futures (second team) manager and won 39 games (3 draws and 72 losses), and was named the 13th head coach in May last year, winning 47 games (5 draws and 61 losses) and adding 14 more this year to reach the 100-win plateau.

Jung Eun-won, who started in center field at No. 2, hit the game-winning home run. With one out in the top of the fifth inning and a 1-0 lead, Jung pulled a fastball from Kia starter Hwang Dong-ha over the right field fence. After hitting her first home run of the season, Jeong went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs in the win.

“I didn’t know (the coach had 100 wins), but I’m glad,” Jung said after the match. I’ve been disappointed in him because he hasn’t been good since last year. I’m glad he did well, even if it’s a 100-win game.” He added, ”Home runs always feel good. It feels even better when it comes in a situation where you need extra runs. My timing was good from the first at-bat. I’m trying to be as confident as possible at the plate and fight the pitcher, and I think that’s why I came out without hesitation and it led to the home run. It was a two-strike pitch, so I just plotted my course rather than trying to anticipate the pitch.”

Jung Eun-won made his professional debut in 2000, hitting his first home run. In 2021, his fourth year as a professional, he won the Golden Glove (second baseman). Last year, however, he fell into the worst slump since his debut, and this year, he prepared for his main positions of second base, left field, and center field. This was his first time playing center field. He even went to the second team once because of his batting slump.

“It wasn’t smooth,” Jung said. These are the first situations I’ve experienced in baseball. It was hard, and I had mixed feelings, but I think it was an opportunity to develop as a person and as a player. I’m thinking of it in a good way. I kept playing, but now I think I was complacent. I feel like I’m back to my rookie days, and I have to get through these times.” As for the defense in center field, he said, “They help me a lot, and I don’t think I have any problems.”

He also thought a lot during the tough times. Jung said, “You never know what’s going to happen in baseball or in life. You don’t 토토사이트 know what will happen tomorrow. I’ve been feeling good lately, and I’m doing my best in the situation I’m given, thinking, ‘I’ve prepared hard, so I’ll get what I deserve. I hope the results will follow.”

After being recalled back to the first team on March 25, Jung went 0-for-8 in his first three games, but has since gone on a four-game hitting streak (4-for-9). “I’ve been hitting a lot of good pitches lately, and I’m feeling confident. I need to keep it up. I will prepare well so that I can play a lot of games,” he said.

Jeong Eun-won has one of the most advanced eyes in the KBO. “They say that hitters are at a disadvantage and pitchers are at a disadvantage, but I can feel that the sides are wider. There’s nothing I can do about it, so I’m cutting as much as I can after two strikes. But I don’t pay attention to the strike zone. I’m just trying to trust a good pitch and pick and choose,” he said.


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