Game 4 of the Korean Series at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on April 11 was a nightmare for KT Wiz. A 4-15 record and an 11+ run deficit was shocking, but the bullpen, which consisted of Kim Jae-yoon, who was brought in early, and the four relievers, gave up a whopping 12 runs. The bullpen was exposed and suffered a shock loss.
Before the game, KT manager Lee Kang-cheol lamented, “We don’t have any bullpen pitchers to call upon.” At first, it seemed like a sarcasm. While relievers Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun were tired and Lee Sang-dong, who had a stellar performance in Game 3 (two scoreless innings), was unavailable for Game 4 due to a high pitch count, KT had four pitchers who hadn’t pitched a game in the series. They were Lee Byung-seong, Kim Min-soo, Joo Kwon, and Kim Young-hyun.굿모닝토토 주소
However, there was a reason why Lee Kang-cheol said this. The pitchers were not at 100%.
This was reflected in the pitching in Game 4. After Kim Young-hyun gave up one run on two hits and one walk in one inning, Kim Min-soo gave up two runs on two hits with no outs, and Joo Woo-kwon gave up four runs on four hits in ⅔ of an inning, even LG’s strongest pitcher, Yeo Byung-seong, struggled with three runs on three hits and four walks in two innings. Not only were they out of shape, but their pitching was off.
The team finally exhausted its bullpen. But the bottom line was revealed. Although it was only one game, it showed the limitations of KT’s bullpen. Not only did they struggle in the game-winning inning, but they also struggled in the chase inning, giving manager Lee Kang-cheol a lot of trouble. Even the closer, Kim Jae-yoon, struggled, further narrowing the options.
In the end, it’s the starting pitching that can be counted on. KT was able to rebound from two losses in the playoffs to win three straight games and take Game 1 of the Korean Series because the starters went five or six innings and the relievers Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun each pitched one or two solid innings. The ideal scenario would be for this to continue in Games 5-7. Of course, for this to happen, the bats need to explode.
The only variable is the physical fitness of the starting pitching staff. Both fastballs and pitches have been overworked this fall. The only hope for Game 4 is that the starters, Ko Young-pyo, William Cuevas, and Wes Benjamin, were able to pitch after four days of rest, while Son Dong-hyun and Park Young-hyun had one game off.
With the pitching staff rested, KT will be able to create some come-from-behind magic in Games 5-7. In the history of the Korean Series, teams have won 16 out of 17 times after taking a 3-1 lead. That’s a 94.1% chance of winning. Conversely, the only team to win three straight after a 1-3 start was the Samsung Lions in 2013. KT has a 5.9% chance of doing so.