“We can finish third” Kia’s 40-year-old batting coach’s 1-month-old prediction comes true: Will it change the ‘fall game’?

KIA Choi Hyeong-woo (40),스포츠토토 who experienced a series of difficult battles in the KBO League, said this to reporters immediately after winning the game against Changwon NC on July 26. That’s how much he evaluated KIA’s power composition as good. At that time, they had already recruited Kim Tae-gun and established a complete batting line. It was shortly after the starting lineup was completed by recruiting Thomas Panoni and Mario Sanchez.

On that day, KIA was in 7th place with 37 wins, 41 losses, and 1 draw. They were 1.5 games behind KT in 5th place. One month has passed. KT rose through 4th and 3rd places to 2nd place. KIA rarely entered the top 5, but recently surpassed Doosan and entered the top 5. 4th place NC also followed by 1 game.

18 wins, 9 losses, 1 draw in 28 games. With their recent 7 consecutive wins, their win/loss margin has widened to +5. In the end, with the power of the complete batting lineup, they took down KT closer Kim Jae-yoon, Hanwha ace Felix Peña, and NC special ace Eric Peddy, one by one. Due to Lee Ui-ri’s shoulder muscle pain and Sanchez’s elbow discomfort, he was unable to form a normal 5th starter, but he was on the rise with the power of his batting.The synergy between the triple setters of Choi Won-jun, Park Chan-ho, and Kim Do-young and the 3rd to 6th central batting lineup of Na Seong-beom, Choi Hyeong-woo, Socrates Brito, and Kim Sun-bin is amazing. Taegun Kim has also been in full swing since August. When a left pitcher comes out, Lee Woo-sung also helps. Except for first base, he is active in all positions.

Here, the starting lineup, led by Ace Panoni, Yang Hyun-jong, Lee Ui-ri, and Yoon Young-cheol, is holding up well even if it is not overwhelming. If the starting lineup holds up, the batting lineup brings the flow of the game, and the bullpen, which has improved in volume this season, opens the door to victory.

As Choi Hyung-woo said, he rose to 5th place. And the third place is also starting to appear. They recently won two days in a row against 3rd place SSG, approaching them with a 2.5 game lead. 4th place NC also trailed by 1 game. If KIA holds on to the Incheon SSG match on the 3rd and wins 8 straight, they will be putting pressure on SSG by 1.5 games. Above all, there is no reason for KIA to be significantly behind SSG and NC in terms of power.

Crisis always comes. The absolute driving force behind the 7-game winning streak was batting, not the mound. Hitters have cycles. At this point, all that remains is to go down. In the end, only with the strength of the mound can they rise to third place. In the end, the risks of the four-selection system must be accepted. Starting with Sanchez, the pitching content of Lee Ui-ri’s replacement starting pitchers after the end of September is expected to be the most important.

In fact, the composition of members is not satisfactory for simply advancing to the postseason. After the 2021 season, KIA’s ultimate goal of recruiting a general manager and head coach, Na Seong-beom and Yang Hyun-jong, and trading Kim Tae-goon this year is not fifth place. At this point, it should be seen that KIA has enough potential to change the fall landscape.

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