Kim Do-young’s ‘heavy message’ should be taken to heart, not just by Kim, but by the entire KIA

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The Tigers were on a tear in April, but it ended in disappointment. Poor defense cost them a winnable game.

On April 26, Kia lost 6-7 against LG in the 2024 Shinhan Bank SOL Bank KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul. The team led 5-1 through four innings, but gave up three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to suffer a heartbreaking defeat.

Earlier, Kia ended a midweek trip to Gocheokdome with Kiwoom on a high note. Not only did they sweep the series, but they also tied a record. Infielder Kim Do-young became the first KBO player to hit 10 home runs and 10 doubles in a month (11), and left-hander Yang Hyun-jong reached the 170-win plateau in his career. Kia also moved to 20 wins (7 losses) and into first place.

On this day, the offense seemed to continue its upward trend. Kia gave up a run in the bottom of the first inning, but in the top of the third, they pounded LG left-hander Kim Yun-sik for four runs. Park Chan-ho singled to left, Lee Chang-jin doubled to right-center, Kim Do-young doubled to left-center, and Lee Woo-sung singled and Kim Sun-bin grounded out to score two more runs. In the fourth inning, they added another run to make it 5-1.

However, a momentary lapse in concentration cost them the lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with runners on first and second, Kia starter James Nail looked to strike out Shin Min-jae on a sweeper, but catcher Kim Tae-gun dropped the ball for the final out. Kim then picked up the ball and slowly threw it to Nail without tagging Shin or throwing to first base. Shin Min-jae sprinted to first base and made the safe catch.

What would have been a two-out double play turned into a one-out, one-run double play. Nail looked frustrated and then walked Hong Chang-ki to load the bases. LG scored three runs on Park Hae-min’s RBI double and Moon Sung-joo’s RBI single.

Even with a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, KIA’s defense fell short. With runners on first and second, LG’s Shin Min-jae singled, but center fielder Choi Won-joon failed to catch the easily bound ball at once. The second baseman, Oh Ji-hwan, came home. The KIA defense also showed gaps when LG Park Hae-min singled with runners on first and second.

Second baseman Kim Sun-bin threw to the shortstop to catch Park Hae-min running to second base, while second baseman Shin Min-jae rounded 토토사이트 third base and raced home. Shortstop Park Chan-ho made a hasty throw, but it deflected toward first base for a safe.

Before the game, KIA head coach Lee Bum-ho expressed his satisfaction with the current state of the team. “We have a strong team with veterans holding down the fort and young players stepping up,” he said, adding, “I don’t think KIA will falter too much.”

He was especially complimentary of Kim Do-young. “He’s always been a talented player, but recently he’s been hitting well and gaining confidence,” Lee said. “Until last year, he had injuries and was willing to work through them at the plate, but this year he has been hitting consistently well,” he added.

However, he also expressed concern. “Kim Do-young personally has a lot of desire to perform well this year,” Lee said, adding, “I think we need to restrain ourselves a bit and talk to him a lot so that he can be calm in the game.” It was a strong message that could be applied not only to Kim Do-young but to the entire KIA squad.

Despite having their four-game winning streak snapped, Kia remained in first place. With 20 wins and 8 losses, they are now three games behind second-place NC (17 wins and 11 losses), who swept Lotte 4-0 on the day. KIA learned a bitter but valuable lesson.

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