‘Taegun Mama’ Narsha wins fifth straight against KIA… How did the team change?

Can a team change so suddenly?

The Kia Tigers are on a steep upward curve. Until May, they had a winning percentage of 5 per cent, but the power of their batting dropped. Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates, who led the batting order, fell silent. The deficit widened to eight runs and they fell to ninth place. It was more of a downward spiral than an upward spiral.

However, they went on a five-game winning streak starting on 5 July against Incheon SSG. They went 6-2 in eight games away from home in the Seoul metropolitan area, including against LG. Against top-ranked LG, second-ranked SSG, and KT, which had the best winning percentage since June, they came from behind in the biggest games of the first half. They jumped to sixth place in the standings. The batting, defence, and mound are all on the rise.

The first reason is the catcher Kim Tae-gun effect. He was acquired from Samsung in a trade on 5 July and has been revolutionising the KIA offence ever since. He came up to bat in the last inning of the 5th game and hit a sacrifice fly, and even wore a mask briefly. It was just a taste, as he arrived just before the game due to travelling after the trade.

On the 6th against SSG, he took over as the main catcher. He combined with Yang Hyun-jong, who pitched five innings of one-run ball, to lead the team to a 7-6 victory. As a hitter, he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a two-run double to right field against Kim Kwang-hyun in the second inning for the game-winning run.
On the 7th, he kept his mask on in the first game of the series against KT in Suwon, leading the team to a 6-2 victory. It was bullpen day, and the game looked to be in jeopardy after starter Kim Gun-gook was ejected for a head shot, but Kim Jae-yeol pitched four innings of two-run ball and the bullpen held the game scoreless. He had one hit and one RBI to help secure the win.

On the 8th, Lee calmly dealt with his pitching issues and pitched five scoreless innings against Suwon. He was especially impressive in the fifth inning, when his fastball was shaky and he struck out the tricky Hwang Jae-gyun with runners on second and third. As a hitter, he also contributed with one hit and one RBI in the fourth straight win.

On the ninth, he teamed up with right-hander Mario Sanchez, who made his KBO debut, for a 5-1 win. Sanchez pitched 6⅓ innings, striking out 10, walking five and allowing one run. Kim Tae-gun did not have a hit, but he did have a single, extending his hitting streak to five games. The team continued its upward trend with the sweep.스포츠토토

Kim Tae-gun’s mound stabilised significantly when he wore the mask. He showed solid defence as a main catcher, including leading, blocking, throwing, meating and framing. He allowed the pitchers to pitch with confidence. During the five-game winning streak, his ERA on the mound was just 1.80. Offensively, the veteran showed his ability to bat seventh or eighth in the batting order and drive in the next batter.

Of course, it wasn’t just the Kim Tae-gun effect for KIA. The return of Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young was also huge. In 12 games, Na Sung-bum hit 6 home runs, batted 3-for-5 with 12 RBIs and 11 runs scored. During the five-game winning streak, he had four homers and eight RBIs. Kim Do-young dominated, going 3-for-4 with two home runs, six RBIs, six doubles and 10 runs scored.

Even Choi Hyung-woo, who had been struggling, came alive, going 4-for-1 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBIs and five runs scored in five games. Socrates also bounced back and turned into a nuclear batting line-up. With Kim Sun-bin back from injury, KIA will go into the hunt for the final three-game series of the first half against Samsung on the 11th.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *