Overcoming the crisis → LG on the verge of 70 wins…”Players who were shy at this time are overcoming it”
It was a matchup of 1-2 teams that could have been a bit daunting, but the LG Twins rose to the occasion in both big and small situations to claim the series.
LG went 2-1 in a three-game series against KT Wiz in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on May 5-7, improving their record to 69 wins, 2 draws, and 44 losses (0.611). The gap to second-place KT has widened to 6.5 games.
LG showed great focus during a prolonged rain delay on the first day of the series, but failed to protect a three-run lead the next day and suffered a heartbreaking loss. The loss of closer Ko Woo-seok was expected to have a lasting impact.
However, in game seven, LG played “LG-pyo baseball” from the start, targeting KT starter Ko Young-pyo and stealing a whopping six bases in a single game en route to an 11-4 victory. Lee Jeong-yong, who took the mound, faced nine hits, but minimized the runs to earn his seventh win of the season with six innings of three-run ball.
The players’ focus made the manager smile. “The team seems to be gaining strength to overcome (the crisis) little by little,” said LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop ahead of the 11th game of the season against KIA at Gwangju-KIA Champions Field on Aug. 8. “It’s good to see that the players are working so well together, especially Kim Hyun-soo and Oh Ji-hwan.”
“No matter what the coach wants to do, the most important thing is whether the players’ hearts are in it or not, and I think they’ve built it well over the course of the season. Even if they’re losing, they’re doing their best, and that atmosphere has been completely formed, and the professionalism to do their best for the fans seems to have been created.” “At this point, the players were intimidated, but they’re overcoming that. As a coach, I highly value the players,” he said with satisfaction.메이저놀이터
From the beginning of the season, Yeom has repeatedly asked the players to do their best in each game, and the players often say similar things to the coach in interviews. “We worked very hard to create awareness,” says Yeom, “and as a result, there were a lot of upset wins. Of course, there were a lot of upset wins at the beginning of the season because we didn’t have any starters, but now that we have strength, it’s positive that the players think they can ‘turn it around’ even if they are losing by two or three points.”
Yeom also mentioned Oh Seok-ju, who had saved the day with the bases loaded in the previous game with a ‘KKK’. In the bottom of the ninth inning, after Choi Dong-hwan gave up three hits and a walk without recording an out, LG turned to Oh Seok-ju to take the mound. After retiring the first batter, Oh Yoon-seok, on a wild pitch, Oh struck out Song Min-seob and Anthony Alford to end the game without allowing another run.
Yoon said, “He’s one of the players I found through the major (first team) tours. I had to use Yoo Young-chan because I didn’t have a winning pitcher (in that situation),” he said. “His velocity is down a little bit, but he has the ability to throw changeups like curveballs, sliders, and forkballs because of his command.”
Meanwhile, LG, which will try to reach 70 wins against Yoon, has lined up Hong Chang-ki (right fielder), Shin Min-jae (second baseman), Kim Hyun-soo (designated hitter), Austin Dean (first baseman), Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Park Dong-won (catcher), Moon Sung-joo (left fielder), and Park Hae-min (center fielder). The starting pitcher is Kim Yun-sik.
While there are no major changes to the lineup, closer Go Woo-seok could take the mound in a save situation in the ninth inning, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to pitch due to fatigue. However, Yeom said he plans to utilize Go Woo-seok. Yoo Young-chan, who felt a slight bile symptom while warming up the day before, will not play and will rest.