‘Chilling tag on my back’ Bae Ji-hwan falls short of 20 steals in season as veteran catcher snipes at him

Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Bae Ji-hwan suffered a heartbreaking stolen base.

Bae Ji-hwan started in the eighth spot in the lineup against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Thursday.

He got off to a good start with a single in his first at-bat. In the top of the second inning, with Pittsburgh trailing 1-3, Josh Palacios hit a double down the left field line. Keebrian Hayes followed with a grounder to the second baseman to put runners at second and third.

The next batter, Bae Ji-Hwan, drove a 94.0-mph fastball from Cubs starter Jameson Taillon on a 1B1S pitch that dropped in front of the left-field fence to bring home Palacios. His 18th RBI of the season.

Trailing 2-3 in the fourth inning, Bae had another strong at-bat, but it was right in front of the plate. With one out, he pulled a hard 89.7-mph body cutter from Taiyon and hit a hard grounder to the second baseman, but Hayes, who led off, was thrown out at second.

With Bae remaining at first base, Austin Hedges (#9) fails to steal second. 토토사이트

On a 1B1S count, Bae initially was ruled safe as he sprinted to second base when Taijon’s three-pitch 87.7-mph cutter was hit outside.

That’s when Cubs second baseman Nico Horner challenged the call, calling for a strong challenge in the dugout. Replays showed that Horner’s glove touched Bae’s back first, and the call was overturned. Catcher Kyle Banhata’s throw to Horner’s right was pinpoint, and Horner casually tagged the sliding Bae’s back. Bae, who was trying to steal his 20th base of the season, sat on the base with a dejected look on his face and waited for the out.

Had it been safe, Pittsburgh would have had a chance to tie the game in scoring position. It had been 24 days since Bae failed to steal a base against the Arizona Diamondbacks on May 21. Since then, Bae has stolen five straight bases.

It was Bae’s sixth stolen base of the season. Tied for second overall in stolen bases. Oakland Athletics’ Esterly Ruiz has the most stolen bases with seven, while Bae, Houston Astros’ Jeremy Peña, and Kansas City Royals’ Bobby Witt Jr. are tied for second with six.

In terms of stolen base percentage, Ruiz has an 81.6% success rate, which is higher than the next three stealers. Bae is at 76.0%, Witt Jr. is at 77.8%, and Peña is at 50.0%.

Bae is tied for fifth overall and tied for second in the NL with 19 stolen bases. The NL leader in stolen bases is Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves, who has 28 stolen bases (84.8% success rate).

Barnhart, who thwarted Bae’s steal, is a veteran who made his debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2014 before moving to the Cubs this season to serve as a backup. He has thrown out six of 23 stolen base attempts this season for a 26.1 percent stolen base rate. His career stolen base rate is 31.4%.

Barnhart led the NL with a 43.8% throwing out rate in Cincinnati in 2017, when he was the starting catcher. This season, Major League Baseball catchers are averaging a 20.5% stolen base rate.

Trailing 3-4 in the top of the seventh, Bae struck out in his third at-bat. Julian Merriweather’s four-seam, 79-mph changeup dropped to one-base, but he swung and missed. After going 1-for-3 with a walk, Bae is now batting .271 (48-for-177) with two home runs, 18 RBIs, 32 runs scored and a .682 OPS.

In the rain-shortened game, Pittsburgh lost 3-11 as starter Luis Ortiz struggled with four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings and Yoenis Ramirez gave up four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning after trailing 4-3. Pittsburgh remained in first place in the NL Central with a 34-31 record. The second-place Milwaukee Brewers (34-33) also lost to the Minnesota Twins, 5-7, on the same day, keeping the two teams at one game apiece.

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