Foreign hitter Nick Williams (30-Hanwha Eagles) is showing signs of rebounding.
Hanwha dropped a heartbreaker against the Changwon NC Dinos on Sunday. Leading 9-7 in the top of the ninth inning, they were on the verge of victory, but were brought to their knees by a tying two-run homer by Son Ah-seop in the bottom of the ninth and a walk-off hit by Kim Soo-yoon in the bottom of the 10th. Despite falling short in their bid for a fourth straight victory, the game was not without its ‘harvest’. Williams, who started the day in the No. 2 spot in left field, went 3-for-6 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs.
It was the first time this season that Williams, who was signed as an alternate foreign-borne player on June 18, had three hits in a game. All three hits were “impressive. He doubled with one out in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game at 5-5 and again with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning to make it 6-5. In the top of the eighth, down 8-7, he doubled to right center for his third RBI. It was the first time Williams had driven in three runs in a game at NC. He was joined at the plate by No. 3 Si-Hwan Noh (3-for-6, 3 RBI), who led the offense and chilled the opposition.
Williams was more of a liability. He was supposed to be the replacement for Brian O’Grady (22 games, .125 batting average), who was sent down due to his poor hitting, but he was just as ineffective as O’Grady, as his batting slump continued to pile up strikeouts. However, after going 2-for-3 against the Doosan Bears in Daejeon on April 13, he went 4-for-6 (15 RBI) in the three-game series in Changwon. In 16 at-bats, he didn’t strike out a single time. He also raised his batting average to .223 (27-for-121) after hitting just .198 before leaving Changwon.스포츠토토
“My (batting) timing kept being late, so I shortened my take-back (the action of pulling the bat back slightly before swinging) a little bit,” Hanwha manager Choi Won-ho said of Williams on Aug. 15. “For example, if (my previous take-back time) was about a second, now it’s about half a second, so I think my timing is a little better. When I asked him about the changes in the batting part, he said that he reduced that part,” he said, explaining the changes. He continued, “My response to the pitcher has been a little better lately. He said that he’s also getting used to it a little bit,” he said, expressing hope.
Fine-tuning has created a “butterfly effect. Williams’ response was noticeably different.