At the end of the first half, the momentum of a six-game winning streak was definitely broken. The KIA Tigers suffered a bitter defeat from the first game of the second half. It was painful to see that Mario Sanchez, who emerged as the new ace, had good momentum at the beginning of the game, but was unable to continue until the end amidst a pitcher change.
The KIA lost 2-5 against the Gwangju Doosan Bears on July 21st. KIA, who fell into a two-game losing streak due to the defeat that day, recorded 36 wins, 1 draw and 40 losses in the season, losing 6th place to KT WIZ and dropping to 7th place.
On this day, KIA greeted the rising Doosan Bears, who are challenging for 10 consecutive wins, and put Sanchez on the starting mound. As expected from the KIA bench, Sanchez had a tight pitching battle with opponent starting pitcher Raul Alcantara.
In the first inning, Sanchez struck out Sue-bin Su and Kyung-min Heo in a row, then Kim Jae-hwan hit him with a double. However, Sanchez caught the follow-up hitter Yang Eui-ji with a fly ball in right field and prevented a run.
In the beginning of the second inning, Sanchez recorded the first three-way strikeout of the day, including two strikeouts. The KIA batting line also achieved the first score with Lee Woo-sung’s 1 RBI and a timely hit in the second base opportunity made by Socrates’ double after 1 run at the end of the 2nd inning.
Sanchez tied up the Doosan lineup with consecutive triplets in the top of the 3rd and 4th innings. However, he was shaken by a single home run in the top of the 5th inning. After one shot in the top of the 5th inning, Sanchez allowed a 132km/h changeup on the second pitch, thrown to follow-up hitter Jose Rojas, and allowed a solo home run with a distance of 110m to tie the lead.
Sanchez, who climbed the mound in the top of the 6th inning without conceding any additional runs, swallowed up his disappointment as the 126km/h slider he threw at Heo Gyeong-min again led to a 110m-distance left-handed solo home run.
Sanchez also climbed the mound in the beginning of the 7th inning and caught lead batter Yang Eui-ji with a left fielder’s fly ball. Sanchez then allowed Yang Seok-hwan to double and Rojas to walk, facing a crisis with one company on first and second base. Sanchez took a breather by catching Kang Seung-ho with an infield fly. At this moment, the KIA bench moved. Sanchez, who had 94 pitches, was lowered and Choi Ji-min, a member of Pil Seung-jo, was put in immediately.
It appeared to be a decision to replace the pitcher on the bench in consideration of left-handed hitter Hong Seong-ho, who would come out after two outs. However, when Choi Ji-min came out, the Doosan bench began to use a pinch hitter. Park Gye-beom, a right-handed hitter who was put in as a pinch hitter, reached base with a fourth ball on Choi Ji-min’s third pitch. Then, Park Joon-young, after a 9-pitch game with Choi Ji-min, tipped the pendulum of the game to Doosan for an instant with a 3 RBI sweep and timely hit that split right and middle.
Sanchez, who showed an overwhelming flow of pitches from the beginning of the game, increased to 4 runs in an instant. Sanchez recorded 94 pitches, 4 hits (1 home run), 10 strikeouts, 1 walk and 4 runs in 6.2 innings that day. As a result, the decision to replace Sanchez was the worst outcome.
In a situation where KIA was behind 1 to 5, Jeon Sang-hyun was raised at the beginning of the 8th inning and showed a willingness to come from behind. At the end of the 8th inning, Socrates hit a solo home run, and in the beginning of the 9th, Lim Ki-young was put on the mound. In a situation where they were trailing by 3 points, Lim Ki-young blocked the start of the ninth with a scoreless run. However, KIA tasted the first loss of the second half by ending the inning at the end of the ninth inning without a chase score.
From the KIA bench point of view, the timing of the pitcher replacement decision at the beginning of the 7th inning was inevitable as a result. In a situation where Sanchez threw only 94 pitches, he went down the mound with only one out count, even though he blocked the front batter with a bum hit. The matchup itself was not bad, as opponent batter Hong Seong-ho struck out against Sanchez and recorded a fly ball to left field. However, it seemed that the decision to put Choi Ji-min was made considering that Sanchez is a left-handed hitter with a relatively weak side.
However, there were relatively many right-handed hitters and pinch hitters on the Doosan bench. Against Choi Ji-min, the movement of the Doosan bench, which put Park Gye-beom, a right-handed hitter, as a pinch hitter, was even more brilliant. Having already received a decisive blow, putting Jeon Sang-hyun and Lim Ki-young in turn after that was close to meaningless waste of the mound. In addition, the 4th and 5th place teams won the first game of the second half and gave up the 6th place at the same time, so it was a more painful defeat from the KIA point of view.바카라
KIA received great expectations from the second half by building a full force. However, the turnaround in the first game of the second half was closer to disappointment than expectation. There is no more time to hold your breath if you want to leap again to the fall baseball qualifier. It is a time when it is not enough to go out without rest. It is expected that the KIA bench will also need to use the entire power more efficiently.