KIA’s fall baseball dreams are getting further and further away. This time, they fell into a seven-game losing streak as they were swept by the eighth-ranked Hanwha. Despite playing a 1+1 strategy with two starting pitchers, the results were not good. The absence of ‘gun’ Na Sung-bum due to injury could not be ignored.
The KIA Tigers suffered an 8-14 upset loss against the Hanwha Eagles of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on April 21.
The loss was the seventh in a row for the Tigers, who were once riding a nine-game winning streak, and continued to struggle in the top five. Now down to sixth place, KIA has a season record of 60 wins, 59 losses and two draws and now has to worry about even maintaining a 5 percent winning percentage. Hanwha, on the other hand, remained in eighth place with a record of 52 wins, 67 losses and six draws.
On this day, KIA had to feel the absence of Na Sung-bum. Na had collected two RBIs in the eighth inning against the Gwangju LG on April 19, hitting a single to right-center field with runners on second and third. After Choi Hyung-woo was hit by a pitch and reached second base, Nasung-bum headed to third base on Kim Sun-bin’s flyout to right field and slid in. However, Nasung-bum felt unwell and was replaced by pinch-hitter Lee Woo-sung, and after undergoing tests at two hospitals on the 20th, he was diagnosed with a damaged right hamstring.
“Na Sung-bum will need to rehabilitate for 10 to 12 weeks due to a right hamstring injury,” KIA said. This meant he would be out for the season.
This was a huge blow for KIA, which was desperate to end its losing streak. As a result, KIA had to settle for a batting order of Choi Won-jun (right fielder), Kim Do-young (third baseman), Kim Sun-bin (second baseman), Choi Hyung-woo (designated hitter), Socrates Brito (center fielder), Lee Woo-sung (left fielder), Kim Tae-gun (catcher), Hwang Dae-in (first baseman), and Kim Kyu-sung (shortstop).
KIA’s starting pitcher was left-hander Lee Yi-ri, who took the mound for the first time in 12 days after being sidelined with a blister on his finger against LG Electronics in Jamsil on April 9. Before the game, KIA manager Kim Jong-guk said, “I’m thinking 30 to 40 pitches for Lee Yi-ri. We’re thinking between 50 and 60 with Mario Sanchez behind him,” he said. In short, a 1+1 strategy.
Hanwha, on the other hand, went with foreign pitcher Felix Peña as its starter and a batting order of Lee Jin-young (center field), Choi In-ho (left field), Noh Si-hwan (third base), Nick Williams (designated hitter), Chae Eun-sung (first base), Kim Tae-yeon (right field), Moon Hyun-bin (second base), Lee Do-yoon (shortstop), and Choi Jae-hoon (catcher).
The two teams traded bites from the start of the game. KIA scored two runs in the top of the first inning. After Kim Do-young opened the inning with a triple to right-center, Kim Sun-bin hit a grounder to the shortstop that allowed Kim to cross home plate. Choi Hyung-woo followed with a double to left-center and Socrates followed with a single to right, giving KIA a 2-0 lead.
Hanwha was wiped out by Lee’s “KKK Show” in the bottom of the first inning. Lee Jin-young, Choi In-ho, and Noh Si-hwan all struck out.
KIA then added a run in the top of the second inning. Two batters later, Kim Kyu-sung hit a solo home run to right field to give KIA a 3-0 lead. On a 2B 1S pitch, Kim hit a 144-kilometer fastball from Peña for a 115-meter arch. It was Kim’s second home run of the season.
Lee’s command faltered in the bottom of the second, and Hanwha capitalized. The leadoff batter, Williams, drew a walk and Chae Eun-sung was hit by a pitch. Kim Tae-yeon followed with an infield single to third base to load the bases, and Jeong Eun-won followed with a single to right field to put two runners on base and cut the deficit to 2-3. Lee Do-yoon’s grounder to second base allowed Kim Tae-yeon to score from third base, tying the game at 3-3. A throwing error by shortstop Kim Kyu-sung allowed Lee to advance to third base.
After Choi Jae-hoon walked, KIA sent Yoon Jung-hyun to the mound in place of Lee. Lee Jin-young grounded out to shortstop, but when Choi In-ho came to bat, a fastball from catcher Kim Tae-gun scored Lee Do-yoon from third base, giving Hanwha a 4-3 lead before Choi lined a single to left-center to make it 5-3.
This time, it was KIA’s turn to respond. With one out in the top of the third, Kim Sun-bin led off with a single to right and advanced to second on Peña’s walk. Choi Hyung-woo struck out, but Socrates followed with a single up the middle to give KIA a one-run lead. KIA had the tying run at second on a stolen base by Socrates, but Lee Woo-sung grounded out to shortstop to end the threat.
KIA sent Sanchez to the mound in the bottom of the third. Hanwha didn’t let that stop them from scoring. After leadoff hitter Williams singled to left-center, Chae Eun-sung hit a two-run home run to left-center field to make it 7-4. It was Chae’s 19th home run of the season. It came on a 147-kilometer fastball from Sanchez on a 2B 2S count. It traveled 125 meters.
KIA loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fourth inning when Kim Kyu-sung drew a walk but came up empty as Choi Won-jun flied out to shortstop. Hanwha, on the other hand, had runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom of the fourth when Choi Jae-hoon led off with a single to right and Lee Jin-young followed with a double to left-center. Noh Si-hwan added an RBI single to center field to extend Hanwha’s lead to 9-4.
KIA had a golden opportunity in the top of the fifth inning when Choi Hyung-woo singled to center and Socrates singled to right, followed by a wild pitch by Peña that put runners on second and third with Lee Woo-sung at the plate. However, Lee was retired on a groundout to the third baseman, leaving KIA without a run in the top of the fifth.
Hanwha, on the other hand, was able to capitalize on another opportunity. With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Lee Do-yoon doubled to center and Choi Jae-hoon followed with a single to right to score Hanwha. Kia immediately replaced Sanchez. Kim Seung-hyun took the mound.
Hanwha sent Kim Kyu-yeon to the mound for Peña in the top of the sixth inning. KIA had a chance to score when Kim Tae-gun led off with a walk, but Hwang Dae-in struck out, Kim Kyu-sung flied out to center field, and Choi Won-jun grounded out to shortstop to end the inning. Hanwha also failed to score in the bottom of the sixth inning as Noh Si-hwan led off with a straight ball, but Williams flied out to center field and Chae Eun-sung struck out.
Hanwha made another pitching change. Yoon Dae-kyung took the mound to start the seventh inning. KIA had a chance to score two batters later when Choi Hyung-woo doubled to center field, but Socrates struck out on three pitches to end the threat. Hanwha did the same. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Lee Do-yoon drew a walk, but Choi Jae-hoon struck out.
KIA hung its head in shame in the top of the eighth as Park struck out, walked, and struck out in relief. Lee Woo-seong struck out on four pitches, Lee Chang-jin, who pinch-hit for Kim Tae-gun, struck out swinging, and Oh Sun-woo struck out standing.
KIA continued to struggle in the bottom of the eighth as Kim Ki-hoon struggled with his pitches. Hanwha loaded the bases with no outs as Lee Jin-young, Kwon Kwang-min, and Noh Si-hwan each drew walks, and Williams hit a two-run double to right-center field. Kim In-hwan, who came to bat in place of Chae Eun-sung, hit a grounder to second base that scored Noh Si-hwan from third, making it 13-4 Hanwha. Jung Eun-won followed with an RBI single to right to make it a 10-run lead, 14-4.
In the top of the ninth, after Park’s command faltered, Byun Woo-hyuk, Choi Won-joon, and Kim Do-young drew walks to load the bases with no outs. Kim Sun-bin also drew a bases-loaded walk to give KIA a one-run lead, forcing Hanwha to make a pitching change to Jang Min-jae. KIA added a run when Ko Jong-wook, who came in as a pinch-hitter, hit a grounder to third base, allowing the runner to score, followed by a single to center by Lee Woo-sung and a single to right by Han Jun-soo, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit. 카지노사이트
For KIA, starter Lee Yi-ri struggled with five runs (four earned) on two hits and three walks in 1 1/3 innings, and Sanchez, who came on after Yoon Jung-hyun, who pitched a scoreless ⅔ innings, did not live up to expectations with five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Kim Seung-hyun pitched 1⅓ scoreless innings, Kwak Do-gyu pitched a scoreless inning, and Kim Ki-hoon gave up four runs on one hit and three walks without striking out a batter. Jang Hyun-sik pitched a scoreless inning. It was bad enough that KIA pitchers gave up 12 hits on the day, but it was the eight walks that hurt.
For Hanwha, starter Peña lasted five innings, throwing 90 pitches, allowing four runs on eight hits with five strikeouts, followed by Kim Kyu-yeon in one scoreless inning, Yoon Dae-kyung in one scoreless inning, Park Joon-young in one scoreless inning with four strikeouts, and Jang Min-jae in one scoreless inning.
KIA, which pounded out 11 hits, was led by Choi Hyung-woo’s 4-for-3 with a home run and one RBI and Socrates’ 5-for-3 with two RBI, but their runs were all they could muster. Kim Kyu-sung went 1-for-2 with a home run, one RBI, and one run scored, while Kim Do-young and Kim Sun-bin were the only other batters with hits.
On the day, the Hanwha bats pounded out 12 hits. Chae Eun-sung went 1-for-3 with a home run, a double, two RBIs, and two runs scored, and became the 114th player in KBO history to reach 500 career runs. Choi Jae-hoon went 3-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs, Williams went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, Lee Do-yoon went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, and Choi In-ho went 1-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs.
Meanwhile, 7,747 fans attended the game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon. Hanwha will host Kiwoom at the same venue on the 22nd. KIA will return to its home stadium, Gwangju-Kia Champions Field, to face KT on the 22nd.