Kiwoom, which has 51 wins, 3 draws and 70 losses in 124 games, played 16 more games than KIA (108 games), the team that canceled the most rain. This is the result of using a dome stadium that has nothing to do with the weather as a home and carrying out the schedule without a break. Of course, Kiwoom’s use of Gocheok Dome was not yesterday or today. Since entering Gocheok Dome in 2016, he has always played the least remaining games, and among them, he has stepped on the fall stage as many as nine times in the past decade. 안전놀이터
Nevertheless, the situation this season remains deeply regrettable. There was an opinion that the use of a dome stadium was behind the ninth-place fall of the Korean Series runner-up last year. Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki, whom we recently met at the scene, said, “The bullpen continues to be overloaded without rest.” “I think it’s a very difficult problem in managing the game,” he said adding, “It would have been better if the players took a break due to the rain.” Of course, even if that happened, I don’t know how the results would have changed, but the operation was very difficult,” he sighed.
That’s true, Kiwoom’s farming season quickly became a bad year due to injuries this year. Injuries are always a variable, but this season, the pillars of the team, including Eric Yokishi, Lee Jung-hoo and Ahn Woo-jin, collapsed one after another. Starting with Yokishi’s ruptured adductor muscle in June, Lee Jung-hoo underwent ankle surgery in July, and even Ahn Woo-jin, who quietly played the role of an ace in difficult situations, recently decided to rebuild the inner ligament of the elbow. Before that, Jeong Chan-heon also received a back surgery at the end of August.
Coach Hong said, “In the case of Ahn Woo-jin, last season’s overload was an extension of this season, and he said he would prepare one tempo late for all seasons, including the camp, and rest systematically, but it was also not enough.” “This year seems to be a year of bad luck for us in every way,” he said, expressing regret once again.
Nevertheless, there is no giving up. He is determined to finish the remaining 20 games, leaving a tight schedule due to a series of injuries and the use of the dome stadium. Kiwoom has recently emerged as a dark horse in the lower ranks as young players have grown rapidly on the mound and in the batting line. It is on the rise for four consecutive wins, including a three-game sweep against second-place KT last weekend. KT manager Lee Kang-chul said, “It is difficult to deal with because there are many mid- to long-distance hitters who are fast. “Young players continue to play and settle down,” he warned.
Head coach Hong said, “The team situation is hard right now, but I’ve never thought of the word giving up.” The same goes for the players. “Since we play for our fans on the ground, there are talks within the team that we should do our best until the end,” he said adding, “The result cannot be guaranteed until we finish 144 games.” “We will do our best while focusing on what we can do for the rest of the game,” he said.