The Korean baseball team KT is taking a breather. After a 10-game winning streak, they’re on a losing streak. KT is focusing on second-place Soosung and betting on its starting trio.토토사이트
KT has lost four straight games, including a 4-5 loss to LG on May 5. In a matchup that was highly anticipated as a “preview of the Korean Series” because it was between the top two teams in the standings, they were swept and, more importantly, fell into a long losing streak. The shock of dropping all three games of the weekend series to the bottom-ranked Kiwoom eventually led to four straight losses.
KT went 26-10 (.722) in 36 games in the second half of the season. Prior to their recent four-game losing streak, they had climbed to second place with a 26-6 record and were rapidly threatening leader LG.
It looks like the expected plateau has arrived. KT lost four straight games, and as of the fifth day, the gap between them and LG is back to 6.5 games. At the same time, second-place Soosung has become more urgent. They are one game behind third-place SSG, 2.5 games behind fourth-place NC, and three games behind fifth-place KIA.
KT has been following a pattern of winning games with strong starters, keeping opposing batters at bay until the middle of the game or later, and then scoring runs when they get the chance. During the recent losing streak, the flow stopped. The sudden drop in scoring has been attributed to a series of falterings in their starting lineup, their biggest strength. Ko Young-pyo, who had the most Quality Starts Plus (7+ innings and 3 or fewer earned runs) in the league this season, gave up 6 runs in 5 innings against Kiwoom on the 1st, and William Cuevas, who went 5-0 in August with only 2 runs allowed in 5 games, gave up 4 runs in 3 innings against LG on the 5th.
With the most important games of the season on the horizon in September, KT is hoping its starting trio of Ko, Cuevas, and Wes Benjamin will eventually perform as well as its best weapons.
“In the end, we need to go 2-1 in games with these three starters,” said KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol. Realistically, KT is more focused on defending second place than chasing the top spot. Benjamin (14 wins) and Ko Young-pyo (10 wins) have already reached double-digit wins, and Cuevas, who joined the team in June and has won a whopping eight games in 13 starts, will be looking to bounce back and make a late-season push. They need to do their part in the rotation to keep their eyes on the prize in the fall.
“For example, Cuevas is shaky against LG, but if we do well and move up (to second place or higher), we have to overcome LG because they are the team we will eventually face (in the fall). Our starters have played a lot of innings, so it’s hard to change the order and pull the gap between starts now, but in the end, I think we’ll have to go back to these three guys (in the remaining games).”