At a time when they should have been on the upswing, they suffered injuries and the rain played havoc. The head coach’s worries only deepen. Can the KIA Tigers overcome the crisis with a full week of games without a rest day?
After picking up the pace at the end of last month, the Tigers were on a roll until their game against the LG Twins in Gwangju on the 10th. A 0-3 loss to the Doosan Bears on the 7th, followed by a 2-12 blowout against LG the next day, seemed to sink in, but a doubleheader sweep on the 9th kept the losing streak from getting too long. The players regained their confidence after escaping the losing streak.
However, it wasn’t long before the tide turned again. After falling 9-10 against the Samsung Lions in Daegu on the 12th, KIA lost 1-3 at home against the Lotte Giants on the 13th. Heavy rain poured down during the game, and the team was unable to complete the game and had to accept a rainout in the sixth inning.
After catching their breath from the rainout against Lotte on the 14th, KIA bounced back with a 6-8 loss in the first game of the series against Doosan on the 15th. After starter Yoon Young-cheol left the game after 3⅔ innings, the team used a whopping seven relievers, but could not hold on to the lead.
The aftermath carried over to the 17th against Doosan, where KIA lost 3-8 and fell into a four-game losing streak. This is the first four-game losing streak in the second half of the season, and if you extend it to the entire season, it’s been about four months since May 10 against SSG Landers in Gwangju and May 13 against Doosan in Jamsil. The team also dropped one spot in the standings, from fourth to fifth.
On top of that, KIA is the team with the most rainouts in the league (23) and has two consecutive doubleheaders coming up on May 27 against the Changwon NC Dinos and May 4 against the Suwon KT Wiz. With few days off for the foreseeable future, the rigorous schedule will only add to the pressure.
Kia head coach Kim Jong-guk is also worried. Before the game against Doosan on the 17th, Kim said, “We have a doubleheader for two weeks in a row, and I’m worried about the starting lineup. The same goes for the bullpen,” he said, adding, “The fielders are also getting injured little by little, and the overall condition has dropped.” He diagnosed the current situation.
“I think we need to reorganize,” said Kim, who emphasized that this week is the most important. Except for the players who are going to the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (Choi Won-jun, Choi Ji-min, and Lee Yi-ri), we need to reorganize, and Yasujin also needs to be reorganized. It’s going to be an important week,” he sighed.먹튀검증
KIA will start the week with a game against Doosan on the 18th, before hosting LG and Kiwoom Heroes at home on the 19th and 20th, respectively, before traveling to Daejeon to face the Hanwha Eagles on the 21st. After the Hanwha game, they’ll immediately return to Gwangju for a three-game series against KT. With a schedule that literally gives them no time to breathe, it remains to be seen if the crisis-ridden KIA can survive in the mid-table race.