) The Doosan Bears’ “customized lineup” against Thomas Pannoni paid off. The bats came alive, with Kang Seung-ho and Park Joon-young hitting safely for the second straight game and Yang Seok-hwan’s four RBIs, including a home run by catcher Yang Ji. Even starting pitcher Raul Alcantara pitched well as the offense gained momentum. Doosan, which is moving forward with the goal of fall baseball, secured the winning series with a solid two-hitter.
Doosan won its 14th game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the KIA Tigers 8-3 at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Sunday, extending its winning streak to six games and improving its record to 63-1.
On the other hand, KIA, which was unable to end its losing streak despite starting a foreign pitcher, fell into a four-game losing streak. Their season record is 60 wins, 2 draws, and 56 losses.
▲After a four-hour battle, rain forced the two teams to play an eight-game series
The two teams battled for more than four hours in the first game of the series on April 15. There were no rain interruptions during the game, only extra innings, but the game lasted a long time. In particular, KIA used a whopping seven bullpen pitchers after starter Yoon Young-cheol was pulled after less than four innings.
The result was an 8-6 victory for Doosan. In the fourth inning, Lee Woo-sung hit his first career grand slam and Kim Sun-bin hit an RBI double in the fifth inning, but Doosan tied the game at 6-6 in the top of the eighth inning with a solo home run by pinch-hitter Park Jun-young. In the top of the ninth, Kim In-tae and Park Jun-young drove in the winning run with back-to-back singles, and reliever Jung Chul-won recorded the final three outs.
After drawing a walk in his first at-bat, Kang Seung-ho hit a home run, a double, a triple, and a single in his next four at-bats to record the 30th cycling hit in KBO history and the first “reverse natural cycling hit.” After starter Brandon Waddell was pulled, Lee Young-ha, Kim Kang-ryul, Kim Myung-shin, and Jung Chul-won combined for a scoreless relay to shut down the KIA bats.
Riding a five-game winning streak, Doosan set their sights on securing a sweep with a sixth straight victory over Naechin Kim, while KIA had to rely on substitute starter Hwang Dong-ha to carry the heavy load. Based on the starting matchups alone, Doosan’s dominance was expected in Game 16.
However, the biggest variable of the season, the weather, came into play again. It rained heavily in the Gwangju area from the morning of the 16th, and the rain became heavier after 2pm. Although tarps had been installed at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field the night before, puddles of water had formed on the field, making it difficult to start the game.
Neither team was happy to have the game canceled, but the rain showed no signs of letting up. In the end, the game was canceled and resumed on the 18th. Both Doosan and KIA had a day off, but as a result, they were forced to play eight games in a row until the 24th.
Starting lineups and pregame comments from both teams
Doosan: Jeong Soo-bin (center fielder)-Kim Jae-ho (shortstop)-Yang Seok-hwan (first baseman)-Yang Ji (catcher)-Jose Rojas (left fielder)-Kang Seung-ho (second baseman)-He Kyung-min (third baseman)-Park Jun-young (designated hitter)-Jo Su-hyun (right fielder), starting pitcher Alcantara.
KIA: Kim Do-young (shortstop)-Choi Won-joon (right fielder)-Na Sung-beom (designated hitter)-Choi Hyung-woo (left fielder)-Socrates Brito (center fielder)-Kim Sun-bin (second baseman)-Hwang Dae-in (first baseman)-Byun Woo-hyuk (third baseman)-Han Jun-soo (catcher), starting pitcher Panoni.
Looking to extend their winning streak to six games, Doosan made changes to their lineup. Kim Jae-hwan, the “left-handed slugger” who struggled against Pannoni in the Jamsil KIA game on June 6, was dropped from the lineup, and Park Jun-young was given the chance to start in the No. 8 spot.
Before the game, Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said, “Today is the second time, so it will be better. Panoni pitched so well that day. I couldn’t do anything about it, but I tried it once and there are changes in the batting order, so I’ll try to win today. “His batting average against lefties (0.257) is higher than against righties (0.227), but in the last game against him, lefties struggled, including Kim Jae-hwan, so I decided to send him out first because Park Joon-young did a good job in the last game,” he said, expressing his excitement for the customized lineup.
In place of Choi Jeong-yong, Byun Woo-hyuk took over the hot corner, while Na Sung-beom, who was hit on his left pinky toe by a foul ball in a home game against the LG Twins on Tuesday, will serve as the designated hitter until the 18th. As his condition has improved a lot, he will also play outfield defense against the Gwangju LG Electronics on the 19th if he says so.먹튀검증
KIA manager Kim Jong-kook said, “On the 15th, our hitters hit Brandon Waddell’s pitches well. “It’s one game at a time, so there’s nothing to order,” he said. “The players and coaches will prepare themselves, so from a manager’s point of view, I want them to be comfortable and not worry about the result. Regarding Kim Do-young, who has been slumping lately, he said, “I think it’s because I’m worried about the batting order when I shouldn’t be. I’m sure there are some inexperienced parts, but I hope I can fight well against the pitcher.”
KIA wasted a chance to take the lead in the bottom of the first inning, but Kang Seung-ho hit a solo shot to lead off the inning
While Doosan ended the first inning with three consecutive groundouts, KIA had a chance to score in the bottom of the first inning with a walk by Choi Won-jun and a single by Na Sung-beom. With the batters connecting with one out, KIA could have gone for more than just an early lead.
However, Choi Hyung-woo hit Alcantara’s six-pitch fastball into right field on a full count, and Socrates, who came up with runners on second and third, flied out to left field, leaving two runners on base to end the inning.
After surviving the crisis, Doosan took the lead in the top of the second inning. The hero was infielder Kang Seung-ho, who had a cycling hit in the previous game. With two on and two out, Kang lined a five-pitch curveball from Panoni over the left field fence for a solo shot. It was Seung-ho Kang’s seventh home run of the season and second in as many games. The distance was measured at 115 meters. This is the first time this season that Panoni has given up a home run in two consecutive games after giving up one against the Samsung Lions in Daegu on April 12.
KIA needed to score a lot of runs, but somehow it left a lot to be desired
KIA didn’t stand still either. In the bottom of the second inning, leadoff hitter Kim Sun-bin led off with an infield single, and after Hwang Dae-in struck out, Byun Woo-hyuk singled to load the bases for Alcantara. With runners on first and third, Han Joon-soo hit an RBI single to center field to tie the game at 1-1.
However, that would be all KIA would score in the second inning. With runners on first and second, Kim Do-young hit a two-pitch forkball from Alcantara, and the ball went straight to shortstop Kim Jae-ho. A shortstop-2b-1b double play was completed to end the inning.
After allowing the tying run to score, Doosan regained the lead with a run in the top of the third. In the first inning, Cho Su-hyun led off with a walk, and after Jung Soo-bin singled to center field, Kim Jae-ho grounded out to third base, where Byun Woo-hyuk made a throwing error. With runners on second and third, Yang Seok-hwan took a cut fastball from Panoni and lined it to left field to bring home Cho from second. The score was 2-1.
KIA continued to put pressure on Alcantara in the bottom of the inning, as leadoff hitter Choi Won-jun hit a double to the right field fence, but Na Sung-beom and Choi Hyung-woo were retired in order. With the count 1-1, Alcantara hit a three-pitch forkball to Socrates, who lined out to second base.
Doosan extends lead to four runs with big inning in a game that seemed to be heading for a lull
Neither team scored in the fourth inning. Kang Seung-ho led off the inning with a single, but was thrown out at second base on a throwing error by Panoni after Heo Kyung-min’s grounder to center field. KIA had to settle for a triple play as Kim Sun-bin, Hwang Dae-in and Byun Woo-hyuk failed to reach base. Alcantara, who struggled through the first three innings, conserved his strength with 11 pitches.
Doosan, who had been harassing Panoni with runs in every inning since the second inning, got things started in the top of the fifth. It started with a home run. Park Jun-young, who had earned the trust of manager Lee Seung-yeop to be in the lineup, lined a five-pitch fastball from Panoni on a 2-2 count for a solo shot over the left field fence. Like Kang Seung-ho, Park activated the home run machine for the second straight game. The score was 3-1.
That wasn’t the end of the game. The next batter, Cho Su-hyung, singled up the middle and Jung Soo-bin walked, and after a sacrifice bunt by Kim Jae-ho, Yang Seok-hwan hit a double to the left-center field fence to bring home both Cho Su-hyung and Jung Soo-bin from third base. With the completion of the big inning, the gap between the two teams widened to four runs.
▲KIA’s counterattack spearheaded by Na Sung-beom, who has a 1.107 OPS in the second half of the season
After settling down in the bottom of the fourth inning, Alcantara seemed to be cruising in the top of the fifth. Third baseman Heo Kyung-min neatly caught Kim Do-young’s grounder to the third base line in the first inning and then made the throw to first base, giving Alcantara a boost.
However, KIA answered in the bottom of the second with a single by Choi Won-jun, and Na Sung-beom, who had been hot at the plate with a 1.107 OPS in the second half of the season before this game, hit a two-run shot in pursuit. With the count 1-0, he lined a two-pitch forkball from Alcantara.
It was Na’s first home run in five days and his 18th of the season after hitting one against Samsung Electronics in Daegu on Dec. 12. Right fielder Cho Su-hyun was playing backward defense considering Na’s long bat, but he could only look at the ball.
KIA’s bench was busy with pitching changes, but it didn’t have much effect
The first team to go down was KIA, who were desperate to end their losing streak. In the top of the sixth inning, Yoon Jung-hyun came on in relief of starter Panoni. After Kang Seung-ho singled and Heo Kyung-min walked, shortstop Kim Do-young’s throwing error on Park Jun-young’s grounder allowed a run to score, and left-hander Kim Dae-yoo came in and ended the inning with a grounder to Cho Su-hyun. The move to prevent further runs was somewhat successful.
Following the two pitching changes, KIA also played the batting order card. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Kim Sun-bin walked and Hwang Dae-in pinch-hit for Go Jong-wook. Considering the team’s recent success with Ko Jong-wook and Hwang Dae-in’s declining batting average, KIA was justified in pulling out the pinch-hitter card. However, the result was a strikeout. Next up.