• July 19, 2023

“I expect a lot from the hitters” 164-win pitcher feels complete…KIA is strong

I expect a lot from the hitters.”

I asked pitcher Yang Hyun-jong, 35, who I met at the All-Star Fan Signing on May 15, to give me his outlook on the second half of the season. The long race is a mound battle. I expected ace Yang Hyun-jong to say that the strength of the starting lineup is the most important thing.

He didn’t. “The starters are the starters, but the hitters are the ones who score runs and keep the team going. The pitchers expect a lot from the batters,” he said. The implication is that even if the pitchers are well-maintained, the real synergy comes when the hitters hit well.

KIA went 7-2 in July, including a six-game winning streak. Choi Won-jun, Na Sung-beom, and Kim Do-young, along with newcomer Kim Tae-gun and returning starter Kim Sun-bin, have been a formidable force. In fact, the complete batting lineup of Choi Won-jun, Kim Do-young, Na Sung-beom, Choi Hyung-woo, Socrates Brito, Kim Sun-bin, Lee Woo-sung, Kim Tae-gun, and Park Chan-ho doesn’t give the pitchers much of a break.

“We’ll have to wait and see, but the battle for the top spot will be fierce in the second half. Our bats are a plus for us. It’s going to get hotter in the second half, and it’s good to have new players come in at a crucial time. We have a lot of power.” 메이저놀이터

However, the batting lineup is not without its ups and downs. Even LG, which boasts the strongest batting lineup this year, didn’t have an upward spiral in the first half. It’s impossible. The starting lineup, bullpen, and defense, led by Yang Hyun-jong, must pick up the slack.

In any case, as Yang said, if the bats spark in the second half of the season, there could be enough momentum to continue the upward trend. In particular, the first three games of the second half against Doosan starting on the 21st will be crucial. If Kia can break Doosan’s nine-game winning streak with their bats, it will give them a boost in the top-five battle.

Yang Hyun-jong said, “Doosan will also have 1-3 starts. If we win here, we will move up (in the standings). It’s a really important three-game series. I hope we can get a good result.” Doosan is also unlikely to back down easily, with Lee Seung-yeop’s winning streak at stake. It’s also a chance to assess the objective strength of KIA’s second half.

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