The first trip to the World Series for the Tampa Bay Rays' South Korean first baseman Choi Ji-man has ended with a bitter defeat to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Choi went 0-for-2 with a walk in the Rays' 3-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, on Tuesday (local time). The Dodgers took the best-of-seven series 4-2 to capture their first championship since 1988.
The Rays, in their second trip to the World Series, came up short in trying to win their first title.
Choi is the first South Korean position player to appear in the World Series. He batted 1-for-9 with three walks and three runs scored in the series.
Three South Korean pitchers before Choi have competed in the World Series: Kim Byung-hyun (2001 Arizona Diamondbacks), Park Chan-ho (2009 Philadelphia Phillies) and Ryu Hyun-jin (2018 Los Angeles Dodgers). Kim remains the only one with a ring.
Facing right-handed opener Tony Gonsolin, Choi batted leadoff for the first time this postseason. But he struck out on three pitches, whiffing on an 86.7 mph splitter.
With a runner at second and two outs in the top of the second, Choi worked a six-pitch walk. The Rays failed to cash in on that opportunity, as Randy Arozarena, who'd homered in the top of the first, struck out against new pitcher, Dylan Floro.
Against another reliever, Pedro Baez, in the fifth inning, Choi got jammed on a first-pitch fastball and popped out to third baseman Justin Turner.
And when lefty Julio Urias came on with two outs in the top of the seventh inning, Choi was pulled for a right-handed pinch hitter Yandy Diaz.
That ended Choi's night, and the Rays' season ended two innings later, with Urias retiring all seven batters he faced to slam the door shut.
Choi made a nice defensive play at first base in the third inning, when he went off the bag to field a wide throw from third baseman Joey Wendle and tagged out Austin Barnes before he could reach the base.
In the sixth, though, Choi couldn't prevent Mookie Betts from scoring the go-ahead run from third base. With Betts at third, Corey Seager hit a grounder right at Choi, who threw it home trying to nab Betts at the plate. The Dodgers' leadoff man was too fast, though, and came home safely to put the Dodgers up 2-1. (Yonhap)