KIA Protecting the Lead – Lotte Not Last

Competition between the 10 clubs is in full swing, but the top and bottom of the ranking table are fixed for nearly a month.

KIA, led by “beginner coach” Lee Bum-ho, has been on a high march since April 9. With “master general” Kim Tae-hyung at the helm, Lotte has been feeling overwhelmed to climb one notch since it slid to the bottom of the standings on April 23.

KIA, which faced the crisis of leading Suwon last week, hit seven home runs and posted its best weekly performance among the 10 teams with four wins, one draw and one loss.

The team met the Doosan Bears, which had been on an eight-game winning streak, and lost 5-8 in the first game of the three consecutive games in Gwangju on Friday, putting on an emergency light. If Doosan lost both games to Doosan, which has strong momentum, it could have lost the top spot.

However, Kia overwhelmed Doosan 8-4 on Tuesday by banking on Na Sung-bum’s hard hit, and tied the game 7-7 on Tuesday through Han Jun-su’s dramatic timely hit in the ninth inning. It was impressive that the team did not lose ground in its fight for firepower against Doosan, which garnered 60 points during the eight consecutive periods.

KIA then took the top spot again against the NC Dinos, which was ranked second by one game. And they succeeded in sweeping in harmony with their pitching and hitting, resulting in the best performance.

KIA has become the sole leader again with 29 wins, 1 draw and 16 losses in this season’s performance. It is three games behind the second-ranked Samsung Lions (26 wins, 1 draw and 19 losses). Up until Tuesday, the team was in danger of leading the league by being trailed by 2.5 games even for tying for fifth, but the gap between the two teams has widened to 4.5 games.

There is only one win left until the 30 wins first place. The probability of winning the regular league among teams with 30 wins is 56.8 percent (21 out of 37 wins, excluding the post-war and two major leagues).

The 30-win first-come-first-served basis increases the Tigers’ chances of winning the Korean Series. KIA has won the Korean Series in all 30 wins, first-served seasons including the Haitai era.

KIA is aiming for its 30th victory of the season in the three consecutive games between Lotte and Sajik, which will be held from the 21st to the 23rd.

Lotte, which had plummeted to the bottom of the league since the beginning of the season, has rarely rebounded.

Last week, it seemed to change as it won five consecutive games against Kiwoom Heroes, Samsung, and Hanwha Eagles, but its momentum was dampened by the loss of the LG Twins and the three consecutive games in Jamsil. Last week, he met KT Wiz and Doosan and did well with two wins, one draw and two losses, but the ranking is still at the bottom.

It’s not that there was a chance to get out of the bottom. In May, he closely followed Hanwha, ranking ninth, without a ride, three times, but failed to accumulate wins each time.

The problem with the Giants is the bat. The lineup, which was hot up until early May, has calmed down. Lotte’s weekly batting average and on-base plus slugging percentage were 0.229 and 0.619, respectively, the lowest among the 10 teams. Naturally, the team’s scoring capacity has declined, and now it is overwhelming even to select five or more points. Another bad news for Lotte is that Jeon Joon-woo and Jung Hoon, who had been at the center of the lineup, have left due to injury.

Still, Lotte’s hope of eliminating the game has not completely disappeared. Hanwha and the ride, which continue to slide, are 0.5 games. It is a distance that can change the ranking depending on the result of one game.

Still, Lotte faces a bumpy week ahead. It will hold three consecutive games during weekdays with No. 1 Kia in Gwangju, and then return to Busan to hold three consecutive games against No. 2 Samsung over the weekend. Lotte is inferior to Kia this season with two losses (no wins) and two wins and three losses to Samsung.

BY: 토토

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