‘Most important week for Doosan,’ national batsman calls for a step towards the top five
“Even though it’s hard, we need to focus a little more and be stronger this week.”
The Doosan Bears saw their winning streak come to an end on April 4 with a 3-4 loss to the Sasik Lotte Giants. With 55 wins, 55 losses and one tie on the season, they remain in sixth place, 3.5 games behind the fourth-place NC Dinos and three games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers.
Doosan was in third place at the end of the first half with 43 wins, 36 losses and one draw, 5.5 games behind the first-place LG Twins and four games behind the second-place SSG Landers. After finishing ninth last year, it was expected that they could easily earn an invitation to fall baseball.
However, in the second half of the season, Doosan lost 13 games and suffered a win-loss margin of -9. Meanwhile, the KIA Tigers improved to 20-11-1 and the NC Dinos to 19-13-1, pushing Doosan out of the top five.스포츠토토
The final standings are still up in the air as Doosan and NC have 33 games left in the regular season, while KIA has 36. Third-place SSG Landers is also not in a comfortable position, with only 1.5 games separating them from fourth-place NC.
The challenge is to keep the momentum going to stay in the top five. The seventh-place Lotte Giants are three games behind Doosan with 53 wins and 59 losses, making it virtually impossible for them to jump into the top-five race. The key for Doosan is to get as many wins as possible in September.
For now, Doosan must take advantage of the KIA game on June 6-7 to turn things around. With the fifth game canceled due to rain, Doosan needs at least four wins in four games, including two midweek games against Kia and a doubleheader against the Samsung Lions this weekend, in order to achieve its primary goal of moving up to fifth place.
Doosan manager Lee Seung-yeop also sees this week as a crucial one for fall baseball. While he doesn’t have a specific number of wins in mind, he’s determined to play every card in the deck to increase his chances of winning.
Before the rainout against KIA in Jamsil on the 5th, Lee said, “I want the players to take it easy. If you have the ability, you’ll win, and if you don’t, you’ll lose. I just want them to do their best in every moment of play. I want them to accept the results afterward and play without pressure during the game.”
“We’ve definitely had time to regroup (with the frequent rainouts). This week could be the most important week of the season in some ways,” he said, adding, “I think the players should be a little more focused this week, even if it’s a little difficult.”
Lee believes that Doosan’s mound has been steady for some time now, so as long as the bats are clicking, they should be able to compete with their opponents.
On May 5, Doosan called up veteran bullpen arm Kim Kang-ryul to bolster the back end. Right-hander Lee Young-ha has also been showing sharp pitches lately, so there is a feeling that the bullpen battle is worth a try against any team.
“Kim Kang-ryul has been in good shape lately, and Lee Young-ha is in the process of getting better,” said Lee Seung-yeop. “We have Kim Myung-shin, Park Chi-guk, Hong Gun-hee, and Jung Chul-won, so I think our bullpen is good,” he explained.
“Our pitching staff has always been good, so we just need our hitters to step up a bit more and we can have a good game.” “KIA has been hitting well lately, but our pitchers aren’t bad either. We will try to play a good game,” he added.