Mired in a four-game losing streak, the Kiwoom Heroes look to turn things around on the final day of their three-game weekend series. The key will be if the bats can hit the regular season’s April MVP.
Kiwoom will take on the Lotte Giants of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on the 28th for the fifth game of the season. Kim Jun-wan (designated hitter), Kim Hye-sung (second base), Lee Jung-hoo (center field), Russell (shortstop), Lim Byung-wook (left field), Lee Won-seok (first base), Lee Ji-young (catcher), Kim Hwi-jip (third base), and Lee Hyung-jong (right field) comprised the lineup. The starting pitcher will be right-hander Chung Chan-heon.
Kiwoom dropped a 5-6 decision to Lotte the day before. Starter Choi Won-tae pitched six scoreless innings, but the bullpen gave up six runs in the top of the seventh. The bats were held scoreless until the eighth inning, and the momentum was completely in Lotte’s favor.
However, in the bottom of the ninth inning, the frustrating batting paved the way for the team to break out of their collective slump. After going winless in two consecutive games on the 26th and 27th, they almost suffered a “disaster” of not scoring a single run in three consecutive games, but they broke their silence at the last moment.
With the bases loaded, Kim Dong-heon, the youngest member of the team, hit a double, followed by Lim Ji-yeol’s push single and Lim Byung-wook’s RBI single to narrow the gap to 5-6 in an instant. While the team was disappointed to see their leadoff hitter Lee Jung-hoo walked on the ensuing two-out double play, they were encouraged by the way they harassed the Lotte bullpen to get closer Kim Won-joong out.
“I hope that the hitters’ late runs the day before will continue to flow in the future, not just in one game,” said Kiwoom manager Hong Won-ki. “The youngest player, Kim Dong-heon, got an RBI, and I think his older brothers also gained strength. I hope this will be a turning point.”먹튀검증
“The current batting slump is a collective problem, not just one person,” he said. “We’re not a team that scores runs with home runs or long balls, so it’s important for us to get into scoring position somehow. I think it’s going to get better, and I’m staying positive.”
As for how to approach Lotte starting pitcher Na Gyun-an, he joked that “we need to score a lot of runs,” and then added, “In the batting order today, we were most concerned about how to connect with the next batter. Recently, our No. 2 hitter has been changing, and today it’s Kim Hye-sung.”