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'July 4 home run' Choi Ji-Man loads up home run cannon for 29th vs. Phillies

29 july 2023

'July 4 home run' Choi Ji-Man loads up home run cannon for 29th vs. Phillies

Pittsburgh hosts Philadelphia for three-game series starting Sept. 29

Ji-Man Choi (32-Pittsburgh Pirates) reignites his home run arsenal.

Pittsburgh begins a three-game homestand against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on April 29.

Philadelphia, in second place in the National League East, leads Pittsburgh in both batting averages.

Choi's role will be crucial. With one of the worst offenses in the majors, Pittsburgh will need Choi's home run power.

Choi has struggled with injuries this year.

After suffering a left Achilles injury on April 14 against the St. Louis Cardinals, Choi was called up to the big leagues 85 days after recovering from the injury and getting healthy in the minors.

After returning to action on April 8, Choi hit his first home run of the season on April 10 against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He followed that up with a home run against the San Francisco Giants in the first game of the second half.

However, Pittsburgh didn't utilize Choi. He was often left out of the starting lineup and used as a pinch hitter, and he often missed games.

Even after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels' Shohei Ohtani on April 22, he missed three consecutive games, and was pinch-hit in the next game.

The American media also questioned Pittsburgh's use of Choi.

However, Choi made his presence felt with a solo home run against the San Diego Padres on July 27. That gave him four homers in eight starts in July.

Choi will look to pick up his hitting again against the Phillies. The trade of Santana for Carrolls, who has been a contender for the team's first base job, could open up more opportunities for Choi.

Starting for the Phillies on the 29th is Zack Wheeler. He's a right-hander who has shown weaknesses against lefties like Choi. Aaron Nola starts on the 30th and is also a right-hander.

On the 31st, the Phillies start left-hander Christopher Sanchez. Sanchez has a 1.1 ERA against lefties this year.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is 45-57 on the year and in last place in the National League Central.