After going hitless in the first two games, batters look to turn things around in game three. Both players and teams are waiting for the bats to rebound from their silence.
The LG Twins and KT Wiz split Game 1 and Game 2 of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO Korean Series at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on July 7-8. KT took the early lead with a 3-2 win in Game 1, while LG battled back with a 5-4 victory in Game 2.
While neither game was a high-scoring affair, there were some batters who made their presence felt. The most prolific hitters were LG’s Park Hae-min, Shin Min-jae, and Austin Dean, and KT’s Choi Jae-dae and Jang Sung-woo, who each produced three hits. In the case of Park and Choi, they reached base five times over the course of two games, if you include walks or balls hit to the body.
On the other hand, the batters who struggled throughout the two games left something to be desired. For LG, Hong Chang-ki (0-for-8) was the only player to start both games without a hit. For KT, third baseman Anthony Alford and fourth baseman Park Byung-ho went hitless in Games 1 and 2.
Compared to Game 1, neither LG manager Yoon Kyung-yeop nor KT manager Lee Kang-chul made any major changes to their lineups for Game 2. “It’s just the end of the first game,” Yeom said after Game 1, adding, “I don’t have any worries. I think they will do their thing. There are a lot of matches left. I think she will find her form enough, and she will do the same in the third game.” 무지개토토
What about KT, who lost the second game after taking a 1-0 lead and failed to win the series. After the first game, Lee Kang-cheol said, “(The two players) will do well. If they do well, I think the series will end too soon. It would be good if they gradually get better (at hitting) one by one. I think they will deliver when it matters. We don’t have any substitutes.”
Unlike the first game, where he was relaxed enough to crack a few lighthearted jokes, the commander of the second game had a slightly different reaction. Inwardly, he was hoping that Alford and Byung-ho Park would do their job in Game 2, but they didn’t get a single shot off in the entire game. In the end, the team that scored four runs in the first inning was unable to protect the lead and lost the game. After game two, Lee was asked if he planned to change the batting order, and he said, “I’ll think about it.” The implication is that the batting order could be adjusted.
Compared to the semifinals and playoffs, the Korean Series is a best-of-four series, so a loss has less of an impact. However, the longer the batting lineup remains silent, the better. It remains to be seen if LG, who are aiming for a second straight series win, can keep the momentum going with the rebound of Hong Chang-ki, or if KT can make up for the loss at home. Which team will get the final piece of the puzzle?