KIA fans dominated…Empty first base is Doosan’s current status

This is the remark that KIA Tigers ace Yang Hyun-jong provoked the opposing team Doosan Bears in the 2017 Korean Series Media Day. It meant that KIA fans’ support was so hot that it felt like they were playing a home game even if they went to Jamsil. Yang Hyun-jong led the Korean Series’ first 1-0 shutout with nine scoreless innings in the second game in Gwangju, and won the Korean Series MVP with a save that confirmed the championship in Game 5 in Jamsil. As Yang Hyun-jong said, Jamsil Baseball Stadium, where the integrated championship ceremony was held, was filled with cheers and cheering songs from KIA fans.

Six years later, KIA fans once again cheered at Jamsil Baseball Stadium, reminiscent of the 2017 Korean Series. The opponent happened to be Doosan again. KIA and Doosan were expected to compete for fifth place, and the cheering was hot as KIA was on a roll with eight consecutive wins.

KIA won 9 consecutive games with a 7-1 victory over Doosan in Jamsil on the 6th. It was a nine-game winning streak in 3,730 days after winning nine consecutive games from the Mokdong Nexen Heroes (currently Kiwoom) match on June 8, 2013 to the Daejeon Hanwha Eagles match on June 20. When the nine-game winning streak was confirmed, KIA fans enjoyed the lingering feeling by singing a southbound train loudly to make Jamsil Baseball Stadium ring. KIA fans overwhelmed the home team Doosan throughout the game to the point where it was confusing whether it was Gwangju or Jamsil.

KIA also overwhelmed Doosan in the game. Starting pitcher Thomas Panoni completely put Doosan’s batters to sleep with a perfect pitch without losing a point in six innings, and the batters hit 13 hits. Doosan’s ace Kwak Bin, who has the best pace, also failed to cool down the hot KIA batters during the winning streak. Na Sung-bum and Kim Do-young took the lead in a complete victory by firing two-run shots side by side

Jamsil Baseball Stadium attracted 24,468 spectators on the day. This year is the second time Doosan has exceeded 20,000 spectators in a weekday home game since the match against Hanwha on June 6. On the 31st of last month, which was a weekday, the number of spectators for the LG Twins and Jamsil rival match was 17,859. This shows KIA’s ability to mobilize spectators. Doosan’s average number of spectators at home this season is 13,004.

KIA is currently in fifth place, but it has recently narrowed the gap to three games with the second-place kt Wiz with nine consecutive wins, raising hopes for a leap to the top. In the end, fans are naturally trying to visit more stadiums because of their good performance and good contents of the game.

Doosan had no choice but to be bitter at the atmosphere of the stadium where the host was evangelized. As Doosan remained scoreless until the eighth inning without any help due to KIA’s unilateral flow, the first base home team’s stands quickly emptied. In the ninth inning, it was empty near the cheering seat. It was a scene that contrasted with the away cheering seats filled tightly until the ninth inning.

Doosan lost two consecutive games, recording 55 wins, 56 losses, and 1 draw in the season, collapsing another 50% winning rate. It was four games apart from fifth-place KIA. Autumn can be expected only when the power to hit and go up toward the end of the season is shown, but both pitching and hitting are noticeably off pace.

Since August, the team has a batting average of 0.256 and a team average ERA of 4.10, ranking fifth. In the middle of summer, he endured with the strength of the mound, and Pil Seung-jo, including Hong Gun-hee, Kim Myung-shin, and Jung Chul-won, who suffered at the time, is generally exhausted. It is always a neck-and-neck race because the batters do not score many points, but the number of losses is increasing rather than winning as pitchers also lose strength. If the starting lineup collapses early as on the 6th, there is no way to deal with it. Yang Eui-ji, who was the core of his offense, has lost his sense of hitting since his side injury, and Kim Jae-hwan, who originally expected the fourth batter’s mission, has been struggling throughout the season. As the two central hitters shake at the same time, the multi-point game is not good.

The number of spectators soon reflects the team’s current performance and atmosphere. The mobilization of 20,000 spectators on weekdays was definitely a happy occasion, but as a result, it was a happy occasion for KIA, not Doosan. In many ways, it was a game that confirmed Doosan’s bitter current status.


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