Unlike the command tower’s cry, Kiwoom Heroes failed to cross the threshold of the semifinals and recently lost four consecutive games. Kiwoom lost 2-9 against the Doosan Bears in Jamsil on the 9th and failed to set the stage for a rebound. The batters scored only two runs even after hitting 10 hits, and the mound rarely had a chance to counterattack as even Ha Young-min, who pitched as the third pitcher, was shaken by three runs in ⅓ innings while starter Jung Chan-heon collapsed with six runs (five earned runs) in 3⅔ innings.
As of the 10th, Kiwoom is in seventh place with 38 wins, 43 losses and 2 draws in the season. It is true that it is too early to be frustrated by two games behind the fifth-ranked NC Dinos (37 wins, 38 losses, 1 draw), but it is only one game behind the eighth-ranked 메이저사이트 kt Wiz (34 wins, 41 losses, 2 draws) and the ninth-ranked Hanwha Eagles (33 wins, 40 losses, 4 draws). If you slip more here, it will quickly fall to ninth place.
Flow was good until June. Kiwoom ranked third with 14 wins, 8 losses, and 2 draws in June, raising its season ranking to fifth place. In June, the starting ERA was 2.61, ranking first in the league. Although the bullpen ERA was unstable at 4.60, Kim Jae-woong, Ha Young-min, Lee Myung-jong, and Lim Chang-min definitely caught the winning game. In June alone, Lim Chang-min made nine saves and sang a revival. In the batting lineup, Lee Jung-hoo (0.374, 14 RBIs), Kim Hye-sung (0.324, 14 RBIs), Lee Won-seok (0.303, 8 RBIs), and Song Sung-moon (0.287, 14 RBIs) showed off their strong batting sense, igniting the upward trend.
However, in July, the momentum dropped sharply. The most painful thing is that Lee Won-seok, who was recruited by trade with the Samsung Lions in April and gave the club the first non-FA multi-year contract (2+1 year and 1 billion won), ended the first half due to injury. Lee Won-seok had difficulty hitting in the aftermath of the Gocheok NC Dinos game on the 4th, and was eventually excluded from the first division entry on the 9th. Lee Won-seok was Kiwoom’s winning move to the top, so the injury gap is regrettable even for a moment.
Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki said, “It is difficult for Lee Won-seok to bat at the top in the aftermath of the NC Dinos.” “I thought it would be helpful to get better completely and prepare for the second half, so I deleted it from the entry,” he explained calmly.
The bigger problem is the bullpen. The ERA in July is the overwhelming lowest at 8.64. It is the most shocking for Kiwoom that Ha Young-min, who played an Alto-like mission in the middle, collapsed with seven runs in 1 2⅓ innings in three games this month. Won Jong-hyun, who recruited FA for 4 years and 2.5 billion won this year, left due to an elbow injury after allowing only 6 runs in 3⅓ innings in 4 games in July. It is a recurrence of a flexor muscle injury that was diagnosed for four weeks in April. While Won Jong-hyun, who wanted to take the center of the bullpen, has been struggling almost all season, he has not been able to get out of the losing streak as young bullpen pitchers have struggled in July.
With the flow firmly twisted ahead of the All-Star break, the remaining three games in the first half became even more important. Kiwoom will play the last three consecutive games of the first half against KT at Gocheok from the 11th to the 13th. Kiwoom will have Ahn Woo-jin, Ariel Hurado, Ian McKinney, and KT will have William Cuevas, Wes Benjamin and Ko Young-pyo as starting pitchers, respectively. Both teams predicted a fierce battle with the first, second, and third starters.
Both Kiwoom and KT have recently lost four consecutive games, and the atmosphere has been dampened side by side. A team that takes care of at least the winning series in this series can avoid falling into the lower ranks. Will Kiwoom be able to untie the twisted knot in the final all-out match against KT in the first half amid a series of injuries and poor back doors.