The league is shifting. KIA is now the undisputed leader of the league’s top three.
The KIA Tigers swept the Literature Series with an 8-6 victory over the SSG Landers, led by Hwang Dae-in and Kim Do-young’s home runs and Park Chan-ho’s footwork.메이저놀이터 For the Tigers, it was their eighth straight win in 751 days. KIA’s last eight-game winning streak was from 21.7.1 against NC to 8.13 against SSG.
KIA’s batting lineup is unstoppable. The bats are exploding all over the place, and it’s hard to know who to stop. The current pace is so good that manager Kim Jong-guk is worried about “reducing the difference between good and bad” instead of worrying about it.
KIA’s Park Chan-ho became the second-leading stolen base hitter in the three-game series (Photo = Yonhap)
KIA took a two-run lead in the first inning on Choi Hyung-woo’s RBI double in a 23-run inning that included Park Chan-ho’s single, stolen base, and Kim Do-young’s walk. SSG got one back in the second, but Hwang Dae-in’s two-run homer to left off Oh Won-seok made it 4-1. But SSG wasn’t about to let KIA win its eighth straight game.
SSG quickly turned the game around in the fourth inning when Cho Hyung-woo hit a 133-kilometer changeup from Lee Yi-ri for a three-run homer to left field. Choi Jeong followed with a two-run homer to make it 6-5.
The KIA Tigers celebrate the Tae-gun Kim effect after he joined the team via trade. (Photo courtesy of the KIA Tigers)
Pinch-hitter Ko Jong-wook hits an RBI single (Photo = Yonhap)
But KIA’s volcanic batting lineup wasn’t done. In the eighth inning, it happened again. Hwang Dae-in, Kim Tae-gun, and Ko Jong-wook hit consecutive singles. SSG tried to stop the KIA bats by bringing up Go Hyo-joon, Noh Kyung-eun, and Seo Jin-yong, but it was not enough. Coach Kim Jong-guk had a thrilling moment when he substituted Go Jong-wook for Choi Won-joon and scored the winning run.
In the ninth inning, Kim Do-young drove in a run. Kim slammed a fastball from SSG Lee Roon for a solo home run off Woo Jung-wol. All three of Kim’s home runs this season have been hit in Munhwa, proving that he is a Munhwa man.
It was also good to see that KIA’s specialty bullpen of Choi Ji-min, Lim Ki-young, and Jung Hae-young secured the win by closing the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively.
KIA Tigers manager Kim Jong-kook is on an 8-game winning streak… KIA is changing the game in the league (Photo = KIA Tigers)
Park Chan-ho stole two bases on the first day and two more today, giving him four stolen bases and a 100% success rate in the four-game series. Kim Do-young also stole two bases in the three-game series, neutralizing SSG’s defense.
Most importantly, KIA’s huge surge is changing the game. KIA has moved up to fourth place, tied with the NC Dinos, who lost today, and only 1.5 games behind third-place SSG. This means they are now in a position where third place could change hands at any time.
KIA Tigers players celebrate after their eighth straight win in 751 days (Photo: KIA Tigers)
KIA Tigers Outfielders celebrate their eighth consecutive win in 751 days (Photo = KIA Tigers)
They are 3.5 games behind second-place KT. The Tigers have a “crisis and opportunity” moment, as they have a lot of games in hand on KT and can go up to second place.
“I want to praise the players for their strong concentration,” said Kia manager Kim Jong-kook after the game. In the top of the eighth inning, Kim Tae-gun hit a valuable game-tying single with one out, and Koh Jong-wook, who came in as a pinch-hitter, delivered the game-winning hit as the manager expected. In the top of the ninth, Kim Do-young hit a solo home run to extend the winning streak. Park Chan-ho created a lot of chances as a leadoff hitter, and Kim Sun-bin also showed good form with a three-hit game. All the pitchers who came in after Lee did their job,” said Lee after the win.