In the bottom of the first inning, KIA left fielder Na Sung-bum is up to bat. LG right-hander Choi Won-tae hits a 147-kilometer fastball outside the strike zone. The pitch was calculated to allow the speedy first baseman to run to second. LG catcher Heo Do-hwan’s throw to second base was flawless, but when the runner slid in with a head-first slide, the second base umpire opened his arms as if it was a no-brainer.
In the first inning of the LG-KIA game in Gwangju on April 10, KIA capitalized on a stolen base by Kim Do-young to take a two-run lead. Kim possesses all the “3 S’s” (speed, sense, and sliding) required for a “dado,” but his sliding ability to utilize his speed to get to the base is very good. He is reminiscent of Tigers senior Lee Jong-beom (now LG coach), who was the fastest player in the KBO in the 1990s.
Kia’s recent rise is reminiscent of Haetae baseball in 1993, when Lee Jong-beom made his debut. Starting in 1983, Hatae dominated the championships, but the way they won in 1993 was a little different. That was the season when Lee Soon-cheol, who had led Hatae’s running game since 1985, and Lee Jong-bum, the “rising star,” “collaborated” to run Hatae’s winning baseball.
Lee recorded 73 stolen bases that year. Senior Lee Soon-chul also had 29 stolen bases. Together, they totaled 102 stolen bases.
Haetae won the overall title that year with a .655 winning percentage (81 wins, 3 ties, 42 losses). While the center fielders like Han Dae-hwa and Hong Hyun-woo, who combined for 13 home runs that year, held up, the 20+ home run sluggers were gone from the lineup. Instead, Lee Jong-beom (16) and Lee Soon-cheol (11) dominated, creating a new team color with an oddball baseball that combined mobility with firepower.
After dropping two games in a row after a recent nine-game winning streak, KIA’s September baseball resembles that of HaeTae back then. KIA has 22 stolen bases in nine games in September, with a 91.7 percent success rate. The team with the second-most stolen bases in September is LG, with 13, half as many as KIA. Furthermore, LG’s success rate is only 65%.
Tablesetters Park Chan-ho and Kim Do-young are leading the way in “running baseball. In September, Park Chan-ho had six stolen bases and Kim Do-young had five. During this time, Chan-ho has only missed once, while Kim has a 100% success rate. Not only are they leading the team’s offense with their feet, but also with their eyes and bats. Park is batting .342 with an OPS of .881 in September, while Kim is batting .306 with an OPS of .922 in September.
SBS Sports commentator Lee Soon-cheol, a key figure in the Tigers’ era, cites the energetic movement of the table-setters as one of the reasons why KIA is likely to remain on the 메이저사이트 rise until the end of the season. “With two players who can run the bases, they are able to diversify their scoring routes,” he said, noting that the KIA batting lineup is paving the way for them to not have to rely on the pace of a few hitters.
Since late August, KIA has been playing the baseball it dreamed of before the season began. With 30 games left, they are in fourth place, two games behind second-place KT. It’s not too late to catch up.