Coach Lee Kang-cheol, who led KT Wiz’s first combined championship (regular season + Korean series) in 2021, is considered a mastermind representing the KBO League. Director Lee Kang-cheol, who has five years of rich experience, also stuck out his tongue about the 2023 season.메이저놀이터
KT won 3-1 against SSG Landers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League regular season home game held at Suwon KT Wiz Park on the 3rd and sprinted for 6 wins in a row. At the same time, KT got rid of the 3rd place Doosan Bears (46 wins, 1 draw, 42 losses, 0.523 win rate) with 47 wins, 2 draws and 43 losses (win rate 0.522) and became 4th behind in win rate.
This is a ranking that could not have been predicted just a month ago. When KT lost 1-10 against Doosan in Suwon in June, it was last in the league with -14 margin. In the aftermath of the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC), injuries to key players and poor physical condition of some players were decisive.
After the joining of ace William Cuevas, who led the championship in 2021, momentum began to revive. However, the jump from 10th to 3rd and 4th without a ride in one month was also affected by the league situation where fierce competition for mid-ranking took place this season. 1st place LG Twins and 2nd place SSG Landers built Yanggang, and the lower ranked teams went on a winning streak once and for all, breaking the middle ranks.
The Hanwha Eagles were the start. Hanwha, which had been in 9th and 10th place for a long time, succeeded in winning 8 consecutive victories in 6593 days, starting with Daejeon KIA Tigers on June 21st and ending with Daegu Samsung Lions on July 1st. Doosan took over the baton. Doosan won 11 consecutive wins for the first time in club history, from Ulsan Lotte Giants on July 1st to Jamsil Lotte Giants on July 25th. In addition, the mid-level rankings fluctuated whenever a particular team ran, such as NC Dinos winning two in a row and KIA winning one in a row (July 5-July 12). As a result, it was only 4.5 games from 3rd place Doosan to 7th place Lotte, making it impossible to predict a team that would advance to fall baseball.
In an interview before the game on the 3rd, coach Lee Kang-cheol said, “I’m not joking, I really think that every day is a match. I play with the mindset that I have to win somehow when I can win.” We have to win and see. There is no meaning in wishing that ‘the other team has to win’. So, we are going to focus on our game first.”
This time it is KT’s turn. Recently, KT’s starting pitchers are achieving a quality start (less than 3 earned runs over 6 innings) in 6 consecutive games. In particular, Koh Young-pyo’s good pitching was dazzling, and he was nominated for the KBO MVP in July along with foreign starter Wes Benjamin and lead-off Kim Min-hyuk. Koh Young-pyo did not allow a single walk in 27⅔ innings in the month of July. He threw less than 100 pitches in all four games, but went seven innings in three of them.
In line with that, starting with leadoff Kim Min-hyuk, key hitters such as Park Byung-ho, Anthony Alford, and Hwang Jae-kyun are showing strong performances in the scoring range and are on the rise. KT, who started threatening the lead in earnest by winning the most wins in the month of July with 13 wins and 6 losses, started to change a record that had been held for several years like other teams on this day.
KT’s sweep against SSG is 706 days after the 3rd consecutive Suwon match on August 25-27, 2021, and the 2nd consecutive series sweep is 1490 after the Suwon KIA match on June 28-30, 2019 and the Suwon Samsung match on July 2-4. It’s a one-day record.