The Kia Tigers are keeping their hopes alive for fall baseball. They can’t make it to the top five on their own, but they’re hoping for a miracle.
The Tigers won 11-0 at home against the Kiwoom Heroes of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at the Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Nov. 11.
‘Big Pitcher’ Yang Hyun-jong shined. Yang Hyun-jong earned the win with eight innings of six-hit, no walks and six strikeouts against the Kiwoom bats. The bats followed suit, scoring early and often to secure the win.
With the win, sixth-ranked KIA improved to 70 wins, 2 losses and 68 draws. They closed the gap to two games on the fifth-place Doosan Bears (71-2, 65-2), who lost on the same day.
With 140 games played, KIA now has just four games remaining. It’s not easy to catch up to Doosan, which has a two-game lead after four games. And Doosan still has six games to go. In many ways, the odds are stacked against KIA.
However, a miracle is still possible.
Assuming KIA takes all four of their remaining games, Doosan would have to win less than 5% of their remaining games (3 wins, 3 losses) for the two teams to swap places.
If KIA loses even one game, it will be fatal. If KIA goes 3-1, Doosan only needs three wins to be eliminated. If KIA goes 2-2 or 1-3, Doosan only needs one win to advance to fall baseball. KIA will have to play the remaining games with the mindset of winning the entire series.
KIA will face the Lotte Giants at home on the 12th. The situation is favorable for KIA. Lotte, already eliminated from the postseason, sent rookie Kang-hoon Woo to the mound. This will be Woo’s first start of the season. The odds are in favor of KIA, who will be highly motivated to win.
KIA will be starting foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez. Sanchez, who is 4-4 with a 5.70 ERA in 11 games this season, pitched well in his last outing, going eight innings and three runs against the KT Wiz on April 4. His previous start against Lotte came in Game 1, when he allowed five runs (one earned) in five innings to earn the win. 스포츠토토
They are missing key hitters like Choi Hyung-woo, Na Sung-beom, and Park Chan-ho due to injuries, but if they can get to Woo Kang-hoon early in the game, they could easily win the game like they did against Kiwoom the day before.
KIA hosts Doosan in a three-game series at Jamsil on the 13th, a day after the Lotte game. This could be the game that actually ends the fight for fifth place. KIA has yet to reveal its starting pitcher, while Doosan will send home ace Kwak Bin.
For now, KIA will have to take care of Lotte and move on to the nightcap. Just like Yang Hyun-jong did the day before, they will need Sanchez to pitch well today.