The Doosan Bears extended their winning streak to five games with a come-from-behind victory.
Doosan came from behind to win 8-6 against the KIA Tigers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League on Friday at Gwangju’s KIA Champions Field. Sixth-ranked Doosan improved its season record to 61 wins, 54 losses, and two ties to completely eliminate the gap between it and fourth-ranked KIA (60 wins, 55 losses, and two ties), but was unable to shake up the standings due to a loss in winning percentage. Kia dropped one spot to fifth.
Doosan’s Kang Seung-ho became the 30th player in KBO history to hit a hit for the cycle with a home run, triple, double, and walk. He is the first individual to do so. The reverse cycle of a home run, triple, double, and single is the first in the KBO. Kang Seung-ho went 4-for-4 with one home run, one walk and three RBIs.
Doosan now has six Hit for the Cycle players in its history, including Kang Seung-ho. This is the most by any KBO club in history. Second place is the Samsung Lions with five. Lim Hyung-seok (Aug. 23, 1992 against Lotte in Jamsil) was the first to achieve it during his OB days, followed by Lee Jong-wook (April 11, 2009 against LG Electronics in Gymsil), Oh Jae-won (May 23, 2014 against Hanwha in Jamsil), Park Gun-woo (June 16, 2016 against KIA in Gwangju) and Jeong Jin-ho (June 7, 2017 against Samsung Electronics in Jamsil).
Doosan: Jeong Soo-bin (center fielder)-Kim Jae-ho (shortstop)-Yang Seok-hwan (designated hitter)-Yang Ji (catcher)-Kim Jae-hwan (left fielder)-Kang Seung-ho (first baseman)-He Kyung-min (third baseman)-Park Kye-beom (second baseman)-Jo Su-hyun (right fielder). Starting pitcher Brandon Waddell.
KIA: Kim Do-young (shortstop)-Lee Chang-jin (center fielder)-Na Sung-beom (designated hitter)-Choi Hyung-woo (left fielder)-Kim Sun-bin (second baseman)-Lee Woo-sung (right fielder)-Hwang Dae-in (first baseman)-Han Jun-soo (catcher)-Choi Jung-yong (third baseman). Starting pitcher Yoon Young-cheol
Doosan-KIA in the middle of a three-game series with only one game left…killing the first pitch was crucial
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop and KIA manager Kim Jong-guk knew the importance of the three-game series. Before the game, Doosan was in sixth place with 61 wins, 57 losses and one draw, while KIA was in fourth place with 60 wins, 54 losses and two draws. Although the two teams were separated by two spots in the standings, they were only separated by one game. KIA needed to rack up some points to stay in the top five, while Doosan needed to seize this opportunity to move up to fourth place with a series sweep.
Doosan traveled down to Gwangju ready to throw their first, second, and third starters at Brandon Waddell, Raul Alcantara, and Guk-Bin. However, KIA was no match for the foreign pitcher. Thomas Pannoni was short on rest after appearing against Samsung in Daegu on the 12th, while Mario Sanchez was sidelined with an elbow injury and is rehabbing with the second team. It was important for young pitchers like Yoon Young-chul and Hwang Dong-ha to set the tone for the first and second games of the series.
“Since two weeks ago, every game and every series has been very important,” said Lee Seung-yeop. I think this three-game series will be the most important game, and we want to show good performance in the games where the first, second, and third starters are out. Rojas can be a pinch-hitter from today (15th). We have one game in hand on KIA, but I don’t care about the game difference, and I think we can have a good game if we incorporate what we’ve been practicing since camp into the game.”
Coach Kim Jong-guk said, “I don’t know what to do. We have to play only with domestic players. Especially the younger players are playing today and tomorrow. I hope they don’t feel any pressure,” he said.
32 pitches in the first inning… Kia’s early dominance paid off
Kia’s youngest rookie, Yoon Young-cheol, was in charge of the first game of a crucial series. Yoon has been a regular in the starting rotation this season, posting a record of 21 games, 8-6, 103 innings pitched, and a 4.19 ERA. While his ERA is on the high side, the eight wins were enough to earn him some favorable reviews in his rookie season.
At first, he seemed unable to shake the pressure of the big game. Yoon struggled in the first inning alone, throwing 32 pitches. In the top of the first inning, he induced a fly ball to Kim Jae-ho in left-center field, but the ball sailed over the glove of Choi Hyung-woo in left field just in front of the fence for a double. With runners on first and second, Yang Seok-hwan’s grounder hit the third baseman and went in front of the shortstop, putting runners on first and third. Eventually, Doosan’s No. 4 hitter, Yang Ji-ji, hit a single to right field to give Doosan a 1-0 lead.
Yoon Young-cheol was unable to manage his pitch count and did not allow another run. With runners on first and second, he struck out Kim Jae-hwan on a wild pitch. After walking Kang Seung-ho to load the bases, he got Heo Kyung-min to ground out to shortstop to end the long first inning.
Yoon Young-chul faced his second crisis in the top of the third inning with the score tied 1-1. Two batters later, Kang Seung-ho hit a home run to left field to make it 2-1. With the count at 0-1, a two-pitch changeup went high and away for a long ball. It was Kang’s sixth of the season.
Yoon ran into trouble again in the top of the fourth inning when he walked Cho Soo-hyun on a single to the left side of the infield. He retired the next batter, Jung Soo-bin, on a grounder to the second baseman, and his pitch count reached 76. Eventually, KIA switched to Kim Jae-yeol on the mound. Doosan was unable to completely shut down Yoon, but they did manage to get their bullpen going quickly.
Yoon came off the mound with a disappointed look on his face after giving up two runs on six hits (one home run) and two walks in 3⅔ innings, striking out three. Yoon’s fastball topped out at 137 mph, while his average velocity was 135 mph. He relied most heavily on his slider (28 pitches), mixing in a changeup (15) and curveball (8).
1 Lee Woo-sung gets his first career grand slam after a frustrating collision with the first base umpire
Lee Woo-sung found himself in an unfortunate situation in the bottom of the second inning. After Choi Hyung-woo led off with a double to center, Kim Sun-bin followed with a sacrifice bunt to put runners on first and third. Lee tried to get out of the inning with a grounder to third, but third baseman Heo Kyung-min made a throwing error. Lee tried to advance to second on the throw, but collided with first baseman Na Kwang-nam. Both Lee and the first baseman were knocked to the ground, and the impact was enough to make it difficult for Lee to make his next move. Doosan second baseman Park Kye-beom took advantage of the opportunity to tag out Lee. Choi Hyung-woo scored from third base to tie the game at 1-1, but what could have been a bases-loaded situation turned into a bases-loaded situation with no outs.
Choi made up for his earlier disappointment with a wild pitch. In the bottom of the fourth inning, with Doosan leading 2-1, Brandon gave up a leadoff double to right field to Na Sung-bum and then walked Choi Hyung-woo and Kim Sun-bin. Lee stepped to the plate with the bases loaded, and on a 2-2 count, he took a seven-pitch slider up the middle for a grand slam to left field.
Lee began his professional career with Doosan in 2013 after graduating from Daejeon High School. He joined the NC Dinos in a trade in 2018 and continued his career with KIA in another trade in 2019. Until this year, he had been playing professionally for 11 years and had hit 18 home runs in 428 games, the first time he had ever hit a grand slam. Kia seemed to take control of the game early, going up 2-5 in the first inning.
KIA Lee Woo-Sung? Doosan had Kang Seung-Ho…but Brandon’s collapse
Kia’s three-point lead was short-lived. If KIA had Lee Woo-sung, Doosan had Kang Seung-ho. In the top of the fifth inning, Kim Jae-yeol gave up a single to left field to Yang Ji and a walk to Kim Jae-hwan, which did nothing to stop the runner from stealing second and advancing to third. When Yangji attempted to steal second base, a balk was called and he automatically advanced instead of stealing, but when the Kia infielders made a defensive shift and found a loophole that left third base empty, Yangji didn’t slow down and crawled to third base to complete the steal. 메이저놀이터
Yang’s clever base-running play led to an extra run. With runners on first and third, Kim Jae-yeol chose to face Kang Seung-ho, who had hit a home run in the previous at-bat. He could have skipped Kang Seung-ho and used a bases-loaded walk, but he had the good sense to do so and hit a two-run triple to right-center field. Doosan closed to 4-5, and a downed Kim Jae-yeol gave up a single to left field to the next batter, Heo Kyung-min, to make it 5-5.
It was a close call, but Brandon was shaky. In the bottom of the fifth, leadoff hitter Lee Chang-jin singled up the middle and the next batter, Na Sung-beom, flied out to left field. Doosan tried to run a quick relay play from left fielder Kim Jae-hwan to shortstop Kim Jae-ho to first baseman Kang Seung-ho to keep the runners on base, but the first baseman made a throwing error. This allowed Lee Chang-jin to advance to third base.
After Choi Hyung-woo grounded out to the first baseman in the ensuing one-on-three situation, Kim Sun-bin continued the momentum. Kim lined a single to right-center to make it 5-6, and Doosan pulled Brandon from the mound and brought up Lee Young-ha.
Doosan must have calculated that Brandon would last at least six innings. However, Brandon’s head was down after 4⅔ innings of 89 pitches, 7 hits (1 HR), 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, and 6 runs (4 earned). Kia even managed to get Brandon out of the game early, opening the door for the Doosan bullpen early.
Pinch-hitter Park Joon-young ties the game…home run to third base to second base, and Kang Seung-ho completes the reverse hit for the cycle with an infield single.
Doosan rallied back in the top of the eighth inning. When leadoff hitter Cho Sung-yueng batted, the team brought up pinch-hitter Park Jun-young. Park was drawn into an 0-2 count against KIA left-hander Choi Ji-min, but he took a three-pitch changeup and smashed it over the left field fence. It was a powerful blast that tied the game at 6-6. Park’s third homer of the season.
Kang Seung-ho completed the hit-for-cycle in his final at-bat in the top of the ninth. He had a solo shot in the second inning, a triple in the fifth, and a double in the seventh. One out later, Jose Rojas walked and Kang Seung-ho was up for his final at-bat. Seung-ho Kang was hit by a pitch and hit an infield single to first base for his first career cycling hit. It was 690 days since Lee Jung-hoo (Kiwoom Heroes) recorded a cycling hit against Hanwha in Daejeon on October 25, 2021.
Heo Kyung-min then drew a walk to load the bases with one out, and pinch-hitter Kim In-tae drove in a run on a wild pitch to make it 7-6. Kia tried to stem the tide by replacing shaky closer Jung Hae-young with Jang Hyun-sik, but Park Jun-young drew a pushing grounder with the bases loaded to make it 8-6.
The Doosan bullpen set the stage for the win with Brandon in trouble. Lee Young-ha (1⅓ innings), Kim Kang-ryul (1 inning), Kim Myung-shin (1 inning), and Jung Chul-won (1 inning) combined for a scoreless inning. Kim Myung-shin was the winning pitcher.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop said after the game, “Today (15th) is Kang Seung-ho’s day. His record of cycling hits is great, but all of them came at a time when the team really needed them. It means a lot to both the team and the individual. Congratulations to Seung Ho on his first career hit and 30th all-time.”
“On the mound, our starter Brandon left the game early, but the rest of the bullpen was up to the task. I want to thank the guys for staying focused in the humid conditions and shortened game time, and I want to thank the fans for sticking with us until the end.”
KIA’s Choi Hyung-woo felt dizzy in the top of the seventh inning and was replaced by Socrates Brito.
Doosan’s Kim Jae-hwan was replaced by Jose Rojas in the bottom of the sixth inning. The decision was made to protect the player after he collided with the fence while fielding in the bottom of the fifth inning and suffered a bruised right knee.