Really scary momentum. KIA Tigers have forgotten how to lose. In about two years and one month, they have won eight straight games and finally climbed to the fourth position. The SSG Landers, on the other hand, have fallen to their knees despite a coaching change and have lost four straight games.
The KIA Tigers pulled off an 8-6 come-from-behind victory over the SSG Landers in their 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League away game at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on March 3.
The win was KIA’s eighth consecutive victory, dating back to last month’s win over Suwon KT on March 24. It has been 751 days and nearly two years and one month since KIA won eight straight games, dating back to July 1, 2021 against Gwangju NC and August 13 against Incheon SSG (with one draw).
With 56 wins, 50 losses and two draws, KIA jumped to fourth place in the standings, narrowly ahead of the NC Dinos, who lost 1-6 to the Samsung Lions on the same day, and closed the gap to 1.5 games over the third-place SSG Landers (60 wins, 51 losses and one draw).
SSG Landers Field was packed to capacity (23,000) for the seventh sellout of the season, following the opening two games against KIA on April 1 and 2, May 13 against the Hanwha Eagles, June 17 against the Lotte Giants, August 19 against the LG Twins, and September 2 against KIA.먹튀검증
KIA’s starting batting order was Park Chan-ho (shortstop), Kim Do-young (third base), Na Sung-beom (right field), Choi Hyung-woo (designated hitter), Socrates (left field), Kim Sun-bin (second base), Hwang Dae-in (first base), Kim Tae-gun (catcher), and Choi Won-joon (center field). In contrast, SSG’s starting lineup was Choo Shin-soo (designated hitter), Kim Kang-min (center field), Kang Jin-sung (left field), Choi Jeong (third base), Park Sung-sung (shortstop), Kim Sung-hyun (second base), Ha Jae-hoon (right field), Oh Tae-gon (first base), and Cho Hyung-woo (catcher).
KIA’s Lee Yi-ri faced off against SSG’s Oh Won-seok. Both teams’ starters struggled early on. KIA scored two runs in the first inning to take control of the game. Leadoff hitter Park Chan-ho led off with a walk, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch by Oh Won-seok. Kim Do-young drew a walk. Na Sung-beom was hit by a pitch, but with runners on second and third, Choi Hyung-woo hit a two-run double to left-center (2-0).
SSG then answered in the bottom of the inning when leadoff hitter Choo Shin-soo took advantage of a 143-kilometer fastball from Lee Yi-ri on a 2-1 pitch and blasted a solo shot to left-center field.(2-1) It was Choo’s eighth home run of the season. The leadoff homer in the first inning was his seventh of the season, 354th of his KBO career, and sixth of his career.
KIA added two more runs in the second inning. They responded with an equally big one. After leadoff hitter Kim Sun-bin led off with a single to right, Hwang Dae-in followed with a solo shot to left. Hwang Dae-in’s fourth home run of the season.
The game got even more exciting in the bottom of the second inning. SSG made another big play and tied the game at one. A leadoff double by Kim Sung-hyun and a single by Oh Tae-gon put runners on first and second. Here, Cho Hyung-woo took a six-pitch changeup (133km) on a unfavorable 1-2 pitch count and sent it over the left field fence. It was Cho’s second home run of the season. The game was tied at 4-4.
After a brief lull, KIA struck again in the top of the fifth inning. Two batters later, Park Chan-ho hit a double to right-center off Oh Won-seok, and Kim Do-young followed with a single to right-center.(5-4) Then, in the bottom of the fifth, after leadoff hitter Heredia singled up the middle, Choi Jung-jeong took advantage of a five-pitch (142km) fastball from Park Joon-pyo, who had been on the mound since the fourth inning with an 0-2 count, and drove it over the left-field fence for a two-run arch. The moment SSG tied the game at 6-5. Choi’s 25th home run. With this home run, Choi closed the gap on the leader of the category, Noh Si-hwan (Hanwha, 30 home runs), to five.
But that was as close as SSG would get. With Noh Kyung-eun taking the mound in place of Oh Won-seok in the seventh inning and the game moving to a bullpen battle, KIA struck in the top of the eighth. One out later, Kim Sun-bin singled to right-center, and SSG brought in “closer” Seo Jin-yong in place of Ko Hyo-joon. Seo came in with a five-out save situation. KIA brought in pinch-hitter Choi Jeong-yong in place of Kim Sun-bin, but Seo gave up a single to left to Hwang Dae-in. KIA pressured SSG with another pinch-hitter, Lee Chang-jin, and Kim Tae-gun followed with an RBI single up the middle to tie the game at 6-6. He hit a four-pitch forkball (132 kilometers) on an 0-2 pitch count. Kia manager Kim Jong-kook’s rotation continued. With Choi Won-jun batting ninth, he pulled out his pinch-hitter Koh Jong-wook, and it paid off. He hit a game-tying double off Seo Jin-yong that landed just inside the left-field fence (7-6).
KIA retired the side in order in the bottom of the eighth when Lim Ki-young took the mound and retired the SSG batters. And in the top of the ninth. The leadoff hitter, Kim Do-young, took a two-pitch fastball (148 kilometers) off SSG’s reliever Lee Roon and smashed a wedge solo shot over the right field fence. Kim Do-young’s third home run. KIA brought in Jung Hae-young in the ninth and retired Han Yoo-seom, Choo Shin-soo, and Choi Ji-hoon to end the game with 12 pitches.
KIA’s Kim Do-young roars after hitting a solo shot in the ninth inning on March 3.
KIA relied on its “beehive bullpen” to secure the win after Lee left the mound early after allowing four runs (four earned) on four hits (two home runs) in three innings (85 pitches) with three walks and four strikeouts. Park Jun-pyo (1 inning, 2 runs), Kim Dae-yu (⅓ inning), Jang Hyun-sik (1 inning), Choi Ji-min (⅔ inning), Jeon Sang-hyun (1 inning), Lim Ki-young (1 inning), and Jung Hae-young (1 inning). Winning pitcher Jeon Sang-hyun (3-2, 1 save). Saving pitcher Jung Hae-young (3-2, 13 saves). KIA became the 57th team in the KBO to reach 5,000 hits. Kim Sun-bin led the bats with 13 hits, while Park Chan-ho, Kim Do-young, Hwang Dae-in, and Kim Tae-gun had multi-hit performances.
For SSG, Oh Won-seok took the mound after scattering 107 pitches in 6 innings of 7 hits, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 5 runs (5 earned). He was followed by Noh Kyung-eun (⅓ inning), Ko Hyo-joon (1 inning, 1 run), Seo Jin-yong (⅔ inning, 1 run), and Lee I-ro (1 inning, 1 run). The losing pitcher was Seo Jin-yong (3-3, 34 saves). The seven-hit lineup was led by Choi Jeong-jeong with a multi-hit game, including a home run. SSG made a coaching staff reshuffle that day, sending hitting coach Lee Jin-young and pitching coach Cho Woong-chun to the second team and bringing in hitting coach Park Jung-kwon and pitching coach Chae Byung-yong to the first team. However, the team lost the game and fell into crisis mode.
KIA players celebrate after their third win in three days.
KIA head coach Kim Jong-guk and the coaching staff and players celebrate after their third win in three days.
The Kiwoom Heroes swept the KT Wiz 7-0 at home to extend their winning streak to four games. Kiwoom remained in ninth place with 51 wins, 70 losses and three draws. Meanwhile, KT (63 wins, 50 losses and two draws), which was chasing the leaders LG Twins, has lost its last three games in a row.
Kiwoom starter Ariel Hurtado pitched 6⅔ scoreless innings to improve to 9-0 on the season. At the plate, Kim Tae-jin, Lim Byung-wook, Kim Soo-hwan, and Kim Xiang paced the offense with multi-hit performances. KT, on the other hand, was unable to capitalize as starter Kim Min-soo fell apart early with six runs (five earned) in three innings. The bats were also limited to just two hits.
Kiwoom players greet fans after their win in Game 3.
The Hanwha Eagles swept the LG Twins in the best-of-three series. With their second straight win, Hanwha improved to 44 wins, 61 losses, and six ties. LG, on the other hand, lost two in a row to remain in the lead with 67 wins, 43 losses, and two ties. Coincidentally, second-place KT and third-place SSG both failed to win on the day, so there were no major changes at the top of the standings.
For Hanwha, “future ace” Moon Dong-ju took the loss after failing to make it out of the fifth inning, giving up three runs on 11 hits (one home run) with two walks and two strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. In 118⅔ innings pitched this season, Moon has an 8-8 record with a 3.72 ERA. Although Moon took the mound, it was a strong bullpen that kept LG in the game.
With runners on first and second in the fifth inning with Hanwha leading 5-3, left-hander Kim Bum-soo came in to put out the fire with 1⅔ scoreless innings. He was followed by Joo Hyun-sang (2 innings) and Park Sang-won (1 inning) to protect the two-run lead until the end. The winning pitcher was Kim Bum-soo (5-4). The losing pitcher was Im Chan-kyu (10-3). Saves Park Sang-won (5-3, 12 saves) LG was led by Oh Ji-hwan, who hit his fourth home run of the season and 150th career home run (57th in KBO history). Despite pounding out 14 hits, nine more than Hanwha, LG lost the game due to a lack of focus.
Hanwha’s Moon Dong-joo on Day 3.
The Samsung Lions swept the NC Dinos 6-1 in Daegu. Samsung remained in eighth place with 49 wins, 64 losses and one tie. NC, meanwhile, dropped to fifth place with a loss to KIA. Samsung starter Buchanan pitched 6⅔ innings of five-hit ball with two walks, four strikeouts and one earned run to earn his ninth win of the season. In Sajik, where the previous two games were canceled due to rain, Doosan defeated Lotte 2-0. Doosan starter Brandon Waddell pitched six scoreless innings to earn his seventh win of the season. Doosan improved to 55 wins, 54 losses, and one tie, moving within two games of fifth-place NC. Lotte dropped to 51 wins and 59 losses, moving further and further away from fall baseball. Meanwhile, Doosan and Lotte will face off at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Sajik Stadium as the KBO organized games on Monday that were canceled on Saturday and Sunday. In the first Monday game of the season, Doosan will start Alcantara and Lotte will start Park Se-woong.