KIA Tigers’ leading hitter Na Sung-bum led the team to nine consecutive wins and shouted “challenge to the impossible.” Even with a slim chance, he promised his fans to look at the top of the list until the end of the season. 토토
KIA won 7-1 in Game 11 of the season against the Doosan Bears of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Baseball Stadium in Seoul on the 6th. It increased the number of consecutive wins to “9” and widened the gap with sixth-ranked Doosan to four games, gaining an advantage in the autumn baseball competition with fifth-ranked Mercury.
KIA succeeded in taking the lead in the top of the third inning when it faced 0-0. After leadoff hitter Park Chan-ho hit a double, Na Sung-bum shot a two-run home run against Doosan starter Kwak Bin after one out. Last year, Kwak Bin was strong with five hits, one home run and two RBIs in eight at-bats, and continued his strong performance this year.
Na Sung-bum perfectly hit the third 122km curve thrown by Kwak Bin in a one-ball one-strike. He didn’t miss a high pitch in the middle of the strike zone. He hit his 15th home run of the season with a 125-meter distance over the right fence. He also became the third player in the league to hit home runs against all clubs this season.
Na Sung-bum’s performance continued. KIA hit a right-handed hit after one out in the top of the fourth inning with a 5-0 lead, wiping away the disappointment of no hit against the Incheon SSG Landers on the 3rd with a multi-hit. Later, he advanced to third base when Choi Hyung-woo, a follow-up hitter, hit a double and stepped on the home plate with Socrates’ timely hit to score his second goal of the game.
KIA overpowered Doosan with Na Sung-bum’s hard hit and tasted the joy of nine consecutive wins in 3730 days since the match against the Hanwha Eagles in Daejeon on June 20, 2013, when head coach Sun Dong-yeol was at the helm.
Na Sung-bum said after the game, “I feel so good because it was a home run that helped the team win nine consecutive games. “I didn’t even think about a home run against the former club,” he said with a smile, “I knew it was a record that he was strong against Kwak Bin until last year.” However, it was my first time dealing with him this year, so I prepared while watching a lot of videos. “I recently had a good sense of hitting, so I trusted myself and focused on swinging, which led to good results,” he said.
Na Sung-beom focused on rehabilitation until mid-June when he suffered a calf injury just before the opening of the regular season in April. With Na Sung-bum’s departure, KIA’s offense was also bound to weaken, and it had a decisive impact on finishing the first half with 36 wins, 39 losses, 1 draw and 6th place.
However, the weight of the KIA lineup has changed as Na Sung-bum gradually increased his batting sense since his return to the first division on June 22. Na Sung-bum is showing off his strong batting average of 0.348 (64 hits in 184 at-bats) with 15 home runs and 46 RBIs and 1.073 OPS in 47 games.
It’s hotter after the All-Star break. He is showing off his terrifying performance with a batting average of 0.360 (45 hits in 125 at-bats) of 9 home runs and 33 RBIs and 1.084 OPS in 33 games. In the last nine games, where KIA has won nine consecutive games, he is playing the role of a leading hitter with a batting average of 0.395 (15 hits in 38 at-bats) and four home runs and OPS of 1.241.
KIA has shown remarkable firepower among the last 10 clubs, boasting the peak hitting sense, including Na Sung-beom, clean-up trio such as Choi Hyung-woo and Socrates, lead-off Park Chan-ho, and second-year top prospect Kim Do-young. Expectations for a rise in the ranking also increased as it trailed the fourth-ranked NC Dinos by 0.5 games and the third-ranked SSG Landers by one game.
The gap with the second-place KT Wiz is not an insurmountable figure with three games. With seven wins and two losses, KT has the upper hand in the opponent’s record this season, and seven more confrontations remain.
Because of this, Na Sung-beom said, “I want to play autumn baseball for a long time. The entire team aims to go higher than the current ranking, he said. “I’m in first place at heart.” All teams play games to get first place. I think we have a good chance, too. “It seems impossible, but I’m trying my best to increase this probability,” he said.
Na Sung-bum led the team to the fall baseball stage for the first time in four years last year, when he first wore a KIA uniform. KIA took the wild card game stage as fifth place in the regular league in the 2022 season.
However, the fall baseball of 2022 was too short for both KIA and Na Sung-bum. He had to end the season in vain by losing the first game of the wild card game against fourth-place KT. Na Sung-bum believes that the possibility of a last-minute reversal is open this season as KIA has the most remaining 35 games left among the 10 clubs.
Na Sung-beom said, “It’s not good in a way that there are many remaining games left, but on the contrary, it may be good. “We could have lost more games (without rain cancellations) and the team’s situation (in the first half) was not good,” he said. “We could have been in the lower ranks than now.” Now, I think it’s better to have a chance to continue the good atmosphere in the rest of the game,” he stressed.
“(Coach Kim Jong-guk) makes the players feel comfortable and the batters fit well, so it is not likely to lose easily no matter which team he meets,” he said adding, “If we continue this trend well, we will definitely be able to go up above the current ranking.”