“The first half is finally over. I don’t care about the (good or bad) ratings. It’s just the halfway point of the season. The real test will be the hot summer.”
The team started July with a -3 win-loss margin. However, the team won nine games and went on an uninterrupted winning streak, finishing the first half with 42 wins, 36 losses, and one draw, and a +6 win-loss margin.
July 13 at SSG Landers Field in Incheon. The last game of the first half, against SSG Landers, was canceled due to rain.
“We don’t have a game today, and tomorrow is the All-Star Game,” said Doosan Bears manager Lee Seung-yeop.
“We have a very good pace in July, but we also had a lot of bad experiences in June. Everybody’s in the same boat when it comes to rainouts, and I’m going to study and prepare to keep the momentum going after the All-Star break.”
The most difficult period was a five-game losing streak in late April against the Samsung Lions in Daegu. The 0-1 and 6-7 defeats were heartbreaking, and he emphasized that “the bench is always responsible for a late-game defeat.”
Doosan had defeated SSG the day before to record their ninth straight win, making Lee the third coach to win nine straight games in his first year with the Bears. He joins “legends” Kim Young-duk (1982) and Kim Sung-geun (1984, both with the OB Bears).
If the Giants win against the KIA Tigers in Gwangju on Nov. 21, they will join Chun Bo-sung (1997, LG Twins), Lee Hee-soo (1999, Hanwha Eagles) and Lee Kwang-eun (2000, LG Twins) as the only homegrown managers to win 10 straight games in their first year in the KBO. 안전놀이터
No homegrown manager has ever won 11 straight games in his first year. The only other example in the KBO is the Lotte Giants under former manager Jerry Royster (2008).
Lee said, “It’s not just my record, it’s the record of the whole team. It doesn’t matter that I’m a rookie manager. (“When I was a player, if I didn’t do well, I had to do well tomorrow,” he said, adding, “I looked back and studied. I only had to think about the team and myself. Now I have to read every player’s mind. It often doesn’t work out,” he sighs.
“If we had played well from the start, it could have been a long slump, but I think playing a tough match early on was the medicine. Now we have our best lineup. It’s a hot and physically demanding time of year. We’re going to have to take care of our injuries and try to get through August and September.”