The 2023 KIA Tigers’ postseason (PS) challenge is in danger of ending before it even starts.
KIA lost 1-3 to Doosan Bears in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season away game held in Songpa-gu, Seoul on the 13th.
Before the game, coach Kim Jong-guk said, “We have been playing with the mindset that ‘there is no game tomorrow’ and ‘today is the last game.’” He added, “Honestly, I think the burden is more on Doosan,메이저사이트 and we just think of it as the last game.” “Doosan thinks about tomorrow and the day after tomorrow, but for our team, today is the last day. So, we plan to activate all the players,” he said.
However, that determination was helpless against the good pitching of Kwak Bin, who is growing into the national team ace. Except for the 4th inning, Kwak Bin did not experience any major crises, and recorded 2 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, and 1 run in 6 innings (109 pitches) with a fast ball reaching a maximum speed of 152 km/h. Hong Geon-hee, Kim Myeong-shin, and Kim Kang-ryul, who took the mound next, each pitched one scoreless inning, cutting off any chance of catching up, and the Doosan mound suppressed the KIA batting lineup to just three hits.
As a result, 6th place KIA has 71 wins, 2 draws, 69 losses, and the gap with 5th place Doosan, which has 73 wins, 2 draws, and 65 losses, has widened to 3 games. In addition, 3rd place SSG Landers, who played a home game on the same day, won 3-2 over Kiwoom Heroes, and 4th place NC Dinos defeated LG Twins 8-4, leaving KIA with only one chance.
With KIA having 2 games left and Doosan having 4 games remaining, KIA has to win all of their games and hope that Doosan loses all of their games. Even if that happens, the two teams can barely play for 5th place with 73 wins, 2 draws, and 69 losses.
KIA’s second game is a home game against NC and Gwangju two days later, from the 16th to the 17th, but in some cases, this challenge may end on the 14th before it even begins. If Doosan wins even one game in the two-game series between LG and Jamsil, which will be held from the 14th, KIA’s elimination will be confirmed.
Doosan announced Brandon Waddell as the starting pitcher in order to quickly secure the semifinals and further aim for third place. The gap between 5th place Doosan and 3rd place SSG is only one game, so depending on the remaining games, they can easily avoid a wild card match.
After briefly playing for Doosan last year, Brandon stepped on the KBO stage once again this year in place of Dylan Pyle. He performed well with 11 wins, 3 losses, and an ERA of 2.58 over 17 games, bringing stability to the mound, and was evaluated as a god for Doosan this year. He pitched in one game against LG this year and performed poorly, allowing 8 runs (7 earned) in 4 innings, but is aiming to turn things around against LG, which is currently preparing for fall baseball.
LG, which has clearly lost its strength with 5 wins and 5 losses in the last 10 games, also has something to aim for. The top three starters, Casey Kelly, Won-tae Choi, and Chan-gyu Lim, who will step up to win the Korean Series for the first time in 29 years, have been confirmed, but the rest is still undecided.
Kim Yun-sik, along with Lee Jeong-yong, are candidates for the fourth selection that LG coach Yeom Kyung-yeop directly mentioned. Kim Yun-sik, who is recording 6 wins, 4 losses, and an ERA of 4.21 in 16 games this year, is on the rise with 3 wins, no losses, and ERA of 1.93 in 5 games since September. With the two starting pitchers who can never back down expected to compete closely, KIA’s attention is turned to Jamsil this weekend.