Hwang debuts with tie-breaking home run, Giants sweep the Rockies

June 28, 2017

MLB, San Francisco Giants


Manager Bruce Bochy #15 of the San Francisco Giants takes the ball from starting pitcher Ty Blach #50 taking him out of the game against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the seventh inning at AT&T Park on June 28, 2017 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

By Morris Phillips

SAN FRANCISCO–Talk about a quick turnaround. Tuesday’s Rockies-Giants’ game ended at midnight with Denard Span’s game-winning hit. Wednesday’s game started at 4:45am.

How in the name of seagull subterfuge is that possible?

Well, the American, big league debut of Jae-Gyun Hwang in a Giants’ uniform was such a big deal, folks in Korea got up before dawn to watch it live.

And they weren’t disappointed.

With his first major league RBI already in his back pocket, Hwang one-upped himself with a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning of the Giants’ 5-3 win over the Rockies. For the 29-year old rookie, and star player previously in the Korean League, it was a dream-come-true moment, and not just because his ball sailed over the wall.

“I’ve given up a lot back home — whether that’s money, being away from family, my career and everything — just to be here,” Hwang said through his interpreter. “The only reason I did that was because I wanted to realize my childhood dream of playing a game in the big leagues.”

Hwang’s probably set for more than just one game after becoming the 17th Giant to hit a home run as their first big league hit. In addition, Hwang’s a good luck charm for a club that’s been both unlucky and bad. That can’t be disputed after his home run propelled the NL West also-rans to their first series sweep–home or away–of the now half-finished season. Doing it after a 1-12 stretch, and against the Rockies, winners of nine straight against the Giants coming in made it that much more memorable.

“He reached his dream and hits a huge home run. He got a nice beer shower in there,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “It’s a special moment. These are moments you love.”

Giants’ starter Ty Blach did his part in contributing to the feel good moment, by recovering from an early hiccup to pitch into the seventh inning and get the win. Blach was touched by a brilliant piece of hitting, Nolan Arenado’s two-run single in the first, where the notorious Giants’ killer went out of the strike zone to poke a 2-2 pitch into center field. Mike Tauchman’s RBI single in the sixth was the only other blemish for Blach, who allowed seven hits, three walks while striking out six.

Blach took down his hometown team, one start after his disaster versus the Mets, in which he was pulled after pitching just three innings in an 11-4 loss. This time, he was gritty despite constant traffic on the based paths, some of which he contributed to with his throwing error in the first inning.



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