For the Kiwoom Heroes, who were one of the favorites to win the 2023 KBO League, but fell to eighth place early in the season, SSG Landers is the last thing they want to face. The team is still reeling from last year’s Korean Series loss, and even when they’re playing well, they’ve had a lot of bad games against SSG.
Their losing streak against SSG this season, which they thought would be short-lived, has now reached eight games. Under these circumstances, the away game at the Literature Stadium on the 4th was a game that Kiwoom could not afford to lose, as they were desperate to get out of the bottom half of the table.
It was Kiwoom’s signature star, Lee Jung-hoo, who saved the team from their ninth straight loss against SSG. In the top of the eighth inning, trailing by one run at 2-3, Lee hit a tying solo home run off Choi Min-jun, who was pitching as a set-up man. Kim Hye-sung’s solo home run in the same inning tied the game at 4-3, and Kiwoom’s bullpen preserved the one-run lead, narrowly breaking the SSG losing streak.
- Kiwoom Lee Jung-hoo’s major hitting records this season
The Kiwoom batting lineup is still dependent on Lee Jung-hoo’s performance in the fourth game of the dramatic comeback. Since Lee is usually deployed 메이저사이트 in the top of the order, his active batting is a prerequisite for the smooth flow of the team’s offense. Add to that the fact that Lee is the team’s iconic figure and when he’s on fire, other batters are less likely to be held in check, and the entire lineup is energized.
It’s hard to argue that Kiwoom’s early season collapse was unrelated to Lee’s batting slump. Without the heart of the team, Kiwoom’s offense and focus naturally suffered, and despite having a solid starting lineup, including league-leading ace Ahn Woo-jin, the team quickly fell to the bottom of the standings.
So Lee’s batting rebound over the past week should bode well for Kiwoom. Lee batted .478 with a 1.321 OPS in six games last week. With his trademark sharp swing and precise timing back, it’s safe to say that the KBO’s best hitter’s season will start anew in June.
As Lee’s bat heats up, Kiwoom’s chances of winning naturally increase. As of June 5, Kiwoom has 22 wins and 32 losses, which is 10 wins short of the 5-percent winning percentage. But there are still 90 games to go, so there’s plenty of time to fight back. It will be interesting to see if Lee Jung-hoo, who regained his MVP-like hitting form from last year, can lead Kiwoom into the top five.