Desperate to ‘leap to fifth’, ‘shocking 15-point loss’ Kia’s four-game winning streak ‘on the rise’ Kiwoom’s ‘mixed reception’
The Kia Tigers, who are aiming for a fifth place finish, meet the Kiwoom Heroes, who are on a four-game winning streak.
Kiwoom and KIA will face off in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on April 29 at the Gocheok SkyDome in Seoul.
Kiwoom continues its recent upswing. They are riding a four-game winning streak after a 4-2 victory against SSG in Gocheok the previous day (28th).
The emergence of a new center fielder continues to be a boon. Lee Joo-hyung has stepped into the center field spot vacated by Lee Jung-hoo and Kim Hye-sung’s departure for the Hangzhou Asian Games due to injury, and the batting lineup is in good shape.
In the previous game, Lee batted third and went 2-for-4 with a double, a home run, and a run scored. With the game tied 1-1 in the middle of the fifth inning, Lee came through with a cool RBI single to give his team the win.
Kiwoom sent Kim Sun-ki to the mound to start the game. Kim has appeared in 15 games this season, posting a 1-2 record with a 6.15 ERA in 33.2 innings pitched. He struggled a bit in his last start against Lotte on April 19, giving up three runs in four innings. He has pitched one game against KIA this season, a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.캡틴토토
The previous day, KIA lost a big 3-18 decision at Changwon NC. Starter Thomas Panoni gave up six runs on nine hits in 1.2 innings to give NC an early lead. The offense also struggled at the plate. KIA had 12 hits on the day, but only managed to score three runs.
The recent departure of key players contributed to the silence of the KIA batting lineup. Choi Won-jun, who was selected for the Hangzhou Asian Games team, was sidelined with a ligament injury to his left fourth finger during a head-first slide on the 12th, Na Sung-beom was ruled out for the season with a muscle injury in his back thigh on the 20th, and Choi Hyung-woo was ruled out for the season with a collarbone fracture on the 25th.
On this day, KIA will send Hwang Dong-ha to the mound. Hwang Dong-ha, who made his professional debut this season, is 3-0 with a 7.03 ERA in 11 appearances and 24.1 innings pitched. In his last start, on April 18 against Doosan, he gave up seven runs on seven hits in three innings. He is 1-0 with a 9.00 ERA against Kiwoom this season.
The momentum of the last-place Kiwoom is scary. They are 1.5 games behind the ninth-place Samsung Lions. Kiwoom’s winning streak is heading for a ‘breakthrough’. As for KIA, they still trail 5th place SSG by 1 game. The possibility of a postseason berth remains open. It will be interesting to see if KIA can make a leap in the standings with a win today.