KIA Choi Hyung-woo (40), who suffered a series of hardships in the KBO League, told reporters shortly after his victory over Changwon NC on July 26. He evaluated that KIA’s power composition is good. At that time, he had already recruited Kim Tae-gun to build a complete lineup. It was right after Thomas Panoni and Mario Sanchez were recruited to complete the starting lineup. 스포츠토토
On that day, Kia ranked seventh with 37 wins, 41 losses and one draw. It was 1.5 games behind fifth-place KT. A month has passed. KT went through the fourth and third place and went up to second place. KIA rarely entered fifth place, but recently beat Doosan to enter fifth place. Fourth-ranked NC also trailed by one game.
18 wins, 9 losses, 1 draw in 28 games. It has widened its winning and losing margin to +5 by winning seven consecutive games. In the end, with the power of the complete lineup, he broke down KT closer Kim Jae-yoon, Hanwha ace Felix Peña, and NC special ace Eric Peddy one after another. Lee Eui-ri’s shoulder muscle pain and Sanchez’s elbow discomfort prevented him from making a normal fifth starter, but he rose due to the strength of his batting.
The synergy between Choi Won-joon, Park Chan-ho, and Kim Do-young’s triple setters and No. 3 to No. 6 center hitters, including Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates Brito, and Kim Sun-bin, is great. Kim Tae-gun has also been strong since August. Lee Woo-sung also helps when a left-handed pitcher comes out. Except for first base, he bursts actively in all positions.
Here, with ace Panoni as the axis, the starters such as Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Eui-ri, and Yoon Young-chul endure well even if they are not overwhelmed. If the starting lineup holds out, the batting line brings the game flow, and the bullpen, which has improved its volume this season, opens the door to victory.
As Choi Hyung-woo said, it has risen to fifth place for now. And third place is starting to be seen. It approached the third-place SSG by 2.5 games as it recently won two days in a row. Fourth place NC also trailed by one game. If KIA catches the match against Incheon SSG on the 3rd and wins eight consecutive games, it will pressure SSG by 1.5 games. Above all, there is no reason for KIA to be far behind SSG and NC in terms of power.
A crisis comes no matter what. The absolute driving force behind his seven-game winning streak was not the mound, but the batting. Batters have cycles. At this point, the only thing left is to go down. In the end, the strength of the mound must be supported to reach third place. In the end, the risk of the fourth selection system should be taken. Starting with Sanchez, Lee Eui-ri’s replacement starters’ pitches are expected to be the most important after the end of September.
In fact, it is not a composition that is satisfactory to simply advance to the postseason. After the 2021 season, KIA’s ultimate goal of recruiting Na Sung-bum and Yang Hyun-jong, and trading Kim Tae-gun this year is not fifth. At this point, it should be seen that KIA has enough potential to change the fall season.