Something’s up at the top of the Korean Baseball Organization. The LG Twins’ dominance over the past two months is faltering. Meanwhile, the second-place KT Wiz, who were once in last place,토토사이트 have been on a scary upswing and are threatening the leaders.
LG took over the top spot from SSG Landers at the end of June and has held onto it ever since. With a solid two-hitter, they became the first team to reach the 50- and 60-win milestones of the season. Meanwhile, the gap between them and second-place SSG continued to widen. At one point, they led by seven games.
However, the team suffered a heartbreaking sweep in a three-game series against Changwon last weekend. It started with a 1-14 loss in game one on the 25th. In the second game on the 26th, they led 5-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, but unexpectedly lost the game. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Park Min-woo hit a grounder that rolled in front of the second baseman against LG closer Ko Woo-seok. LG second baseman Shin Min-jae caught the ball and tossed it to shortstop Oh Ji-hwan, and it looked like the game was over.
However, second base umpire Yoon Sang-won raised his hand to indicate that he was “hit by a pitch.” Rule 5.06(c) 6 states, “If a fair ball not hit by an infielder (including the pitcher) is hit by a runner or umpire in fair territory, or if a fair ball not passed by an infielder (other than the pitcher) is hit by an umpire, each runner required to clear a base by the batter becoming a runner shall advance. This means that a ball that hits the umpire’s body is considered an infield hit. In fact, the TV replay showed the ball grazing Yoon’s heel before it left the infield.
Go Woo-seok was shaken after missing a potential game-ending play. After giving up a single to Jason Martin with runners on second and third, he gave up a three-run homer to left field to Kwon Hee-dong. Just like that, LG fell behind 5-7. Some LG fans expressed their anger by blaming the umpire for the loss. In the end, the KBO consulted with the umpire committee and removed Yoon from the next game and replaced him with another umpire. However, LG still lost a heartbreaking three-game series to NC on the 27th, 3-5. Meanwhile, second-place KT continued to win. They swept a three-game series in Busan over the weekend with a 2-1 win over the Lotte Giants on the 27th. The gap between first-place LG and second-place KT has shrunk from 7.5 games to 4.5 games.
It’s a remarkable turnaround. After 50 games this season (June 4), KT was in last place with 18 wins, 2 draws, and 30 losses, but they finished June with the best winning percentage (.652) and then picked up steam in the second half to move into second place. KT’s second-half record is an impressive 25-6 (0.806 win percentage). They even flew higher this month with an 18-4 record (0.818 winning percentage). They are now within striking distance of second-place SSG and catching leader LG.
2023 KBO League Team Standings (Day 28)
KT’s strength comes from a strong mound. The starting rotation of Ko Young-pyo, Wes Benjamin, William Cuevas, Uhm Sang-baek, and Bae Jei-seong is considered the best in the KBO. The bullpen is also strong. Park Young-hyun, who leads the league in holds (27), and Kim Jae-yoon, who leads the league in saves (24), guard the back door. This is the reason why KT is on a high even when its mainstays, such as Cho Min-joon, Kang Baek-ho, and Cho Yong-ho, are out with injuries.
The second-half favorite KT will host the eighth-ranked Samsung Lions at Anbang on the 29th. LG will host rival Doosan Bears for a three-game series in Jamsil. LG and KT will face off a week later in Suwon on May 5-7.