The Kia Tigers, busy on the road, encountered an unexpected variable.
On the 25th, Daejeon Hanwha. It was a bleeding-heart game for KIA. Starting pitcher Lee Yi-ri left the mound after just 22 pitches due to an automatic ejection for a head shot in the bottom of the second inning. KIA rushed Kim Ki-hoon to the mound, but he gave up three consecutive push balls and was only able to get out of the inning after sending Kim Dae-yu to the mound. Im Ki-young then pitched three innings of relief, but the team was still forced to use up bullpen resources in a must-win or must-chase situation. If long reliever Im Ki-young hadn’t been able to calm the nerves with his third-inning comeback, they would have been forced to bleed even more.안전놀이터
The stakes were high. An unexpected headshot ejection put the bullpen on standby early. It’s also worth noting that the pitchers were rushing to warm up and take the mound, which naturally disrupted their routines and balance. The aftermath naturally leads to a three-game weekend series.
KIA will host the LG Twins in a three-game weekend series from 26-28 April at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju. LG boasts one of the best offences in the league. They lead the league in team OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage) and have a significant lead over the rest of the field. In addition to Austin Moon, who is battling for the top spot in the order, there are a number of other scary hitters, including home run leader Park Dong-won and veteran Kim Hyun-soo.
KIA will start Adonis Medina in the three-game weekend series, followed by Yang Hyun-jong and Sean Anderson. With a foreign one-two punch and a homegrown ace, they have every reason to be confident, but LG’s hitting cycle is so good that it’s a tough one to catch off-guard. Medina has been up and down, Anderson has been on a downward spiral since May, and Yang is the only pitcher who really counts. Naturally, there is a lot of concern about bullpen depletion in this game, and the variables created by Hanwha make it all the more painful.
KIA swept LG in Jamsil on 28-30 March. In the first game, Yang Hyun-jong took the mound for five innings and three runs, but the team used six pitchers from the bullpen to protect the lead and secure a one-run victory. The team took the next two games to build on that victory and went on a five-game winning streak. KIA is in desperate need of the same focus they had a month ago.