KT Wiz is having a cold spring this season as well.
KT lost 9-10 in the first leg of the 2023 KBO League weekend three-game series against the Samsung Lions held at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on the 28th.
KT has not won 8 games in a row since the SSG Landers match on the 20th. Although they drew against the Doosan Bears on the 23rd, considering the contents of the game, it was virtually no different than a defeat.
It is the second time that KT has failed to win 8 games in a row since coach Lee Kang-cheol took office. The previous record was 8 consecutive losses from April 23 to May 2, 2019.
At the time, KT recorded 11 wins and 24 losses in the opening 35 games, and could not get out of the bottom of the league. There were also concerns that it could be 100 losses (based on a single season). The evaluation of director Lee Kang-cheol, who was evaluated as a ‘prepared command tower’, was also divided.
However, after that, KT clearly divided the mound positions and rebounded after building the starting lineup. For the first time in the 2019 season, it recorded 71 wins, 2 draws and 71 losses in 50%, and also achieved the highest ranking (6th place). The 2020 season ranked second in the regular season, and the 2021 season won the combined championship.
To put it simply, he is struggling the most since Lee Kang-chul took over as head coach. Last season, it was difficult to manage the win rate in the early stages due to the bullpen hunting, but the situation is different this season. The main bullpen players Kim Min-soo and Ju Kwon, third baseman Hwang Jae-gyun and center fielder all left due to injuries. Kang Baek-ho’s hitting feeling, which was hot at the beginning of the opening season, has cooled down, and the long hitting power of Park Byeong-ho, the home run king of the 2022 season, is also in a lull.
Starting with the Doosan Bears match on the 22nd, the batting line has subsided to the extent that it has not been possible to score more than 3 points in 6 consecutive games. In the first game of Kiwoom on the 25th, he had no hits until the 6th inning against Ace Ahn Woo-jin.
In this situation, the mound is also shaking. First starter Wes Benjamin was sluggish with 5 runs in 5 1/3 innings in the second game of Kiwoom on the 26th. He gave up 5 or more points in 2 consecutive games.
The absence of the setup man duo (Kim Min-soo and Ju-kwon) was able to be reduced in the match against Samsung on the 28th, when they failed to escape from a losing streak right in front of their eyes. KT was losing 0-8 until the beginning of the 8th inning, but scored 8 points at once in the subsequent 8th attack and tied the score. But again the bullpen collapsed. Finisher Kim Jae-yoon blocked one inning in the ninth inning without conceding a run, but Park Young-hyun, who is expected to be a future closer, took the mound in the top of the 10th inning and gave up a four-pitch, intentional four-pitch, and walk, bringing the bases loaded, and Lee Jae-hyun got a two-run hit. . At the end of the 10th inning, KT chased after the lead batter Oh Yoon-seok hit a solo home run, but the following three batters withdrew with a hit and lost again by one point. Even on the day when the batting line broke out after a long time, he could not win.
KT was evaluated as a candidate for the top 5 before the opening. It was evaluated that it had the power to shake the LG Twins and SSG Landers 2nd round system. Of course, in the demonstration game, the bullpen breakaway power came out, but the dominant view was that the mound depth that manager Lee Kang-cheol had well-established could withstand. ㅋㅋㅋ벳
Of course, it’s still early in the season. KT struggled every spring. When the injured return and recover their normal strength, the potential of the team that has advanced to fall baseball for the last three years in a row can be shown.
But before that, managing the win rate is essential. First of all, it is imperative to break out of the losing streak. In this situation, Koh Young-pyo, the domestic ace, will go to the second match with Samsung on the 29th. The opposing starting pitcher is Won Tae-in, who was strong with 3 wins and 1 loss and an average ERA of 3.56 in the last 5 games against KT.