Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

“The cause of the decline in rankings is walks.”

SSG recorded 46 wins, 1 draw, and 32 losses in the first half of the season. At this time, they finished trailing by 2.5 games with first place LG 스포츠토토(49 wins, 2 draws, 30 losses). Although the starting lineup was shaken, the bullpen pitchers’ fightback served as support. However, the rankings are declining in the second half of the year. It was largely due to the overload on the bullpen that had endured.

SSG won 16 games, drew 1 draw, and lost 22 out of 39 games in the second half (winning rate of 0.421). During this period, the team’s average ERA was 5.19, ranking 9th, and the team batting average was 0.264, ranking 8th. All of their pitches stayed in the lower ranks, and their rankings gradually fell, and eventually SSG (62 wins, 2 draws, 54 losses, 0.534 win rate) lost 4th place to KIA (60 wins, 2 draws, 52 losses, 0.536 win rate).

SSG coach Kim Won-hyung met before the game against Suwon KT on the 10th and said, “The batting line is coming back to life little by little, playing its role and scoring goals. “Of course, it would be nice if we scored a little more,” he said. “But the pitchers gave up a lot of runs. I have seen the team ERA ranking become similar to the team ranking for several years. “Our team’s ERA was at the bottom in August and September, and I think that’s why our ranking continues to drop from second place,” he said.

Concerns are bound to increase. The entire mound is shaking in the second half of the season. It is encouraging to see that the sluggish batting lineup is slowly coming back to life. The head coach cited ‘walks’ as the cause of the decline. As pitchers’ walks increased, the number of runs conceded also increased. In fact, the total number of walks allowed by SSG pitchers this season is 532, the most among all clubs. There are 50 more than Kiwoom (482), which has the second most, and considering that Kiwoom played 13 more games, the gap is likely to be even larger.

Manager Kim said, “Ultimately, walks are the problem,” and “The starting pitchers continue to walk a lot and cannot last many innings. You have to believe in your ball and throw it, but the problem is that you can’t count whether it goes 145km or 150km. As a result, the bullpen pitchers are throwing too much,” he pointed out.

The previous day, in the game against Suwon KT, SSG’s foreign pitcher Kirk McCarty allowed 8 hits, 5 walks, and 5 runs (5 earned) in 5 innings. There are many walks compared to the opposing team’s starting pitcher, William Cuevas, who walked 1 in 6 innings. Fortunately, SSG’s bullpen was active and prevented any runs, and thanks to the support of the batting line, including shortstop Park Seong-han’s 2-run home run in the 9th inning, they achieved a thrilling comeback win of 6-5.

Coach Kim said, “Our team had a lot of walks even at the beginning of the season. It’s not that it didn’t exist. “But we did it well,” he said. “If there was a succession runner, the next pitcher would come up and block the pitch well, and this was done so well that we were able to get a lot of wins.”

He said, “I was always worried about that. “I know that, and I tell the pitchers, ‘Don’t walk,’ but that doesn’t seem to be working,” he said. “Looking at recent games, it seems like I can’t win games with this anymore.” “But I’ve believed it until now, so I have to believe it until the end.”

He emphasized that an immediate win is important. This is because winning the game can change the gloomy atmosphere. And thanks to the bullpen’s fight and a revitalized batting lineup, they ended their losing streak and achieved a valuable win. Now, all that remains is to bounce back with an atmosphere of victory as the head coach wishes.

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