“We especially want our young players to go out today (Aug. 15) and tomorrow and not feel any pressure.”
KIA Tigers head coach Kim Jong-guk has revealed his team’s intentions for a three-game weekend series against the Doosan Bears in Gwangju from March 15-17. The fourth-ranked Kia Tigers have lost two in a row and are now 60-54-2 on the season. Meanwhile, sixth-ranked Doosan has won four straight games to improve its season record to 61W57D1L and move within one game of Kia. If KIA doesn’t win at least two games in the three-game series, they’re in danger of falling to sixth place.
In terms of starting pitching, Doosan has the edge. Doosan will send out Brandon Waddell, Raul Alcantara, and Guk-Bin for the three-game series. This gives Doosan three of the strongest starters in the game.
KIA is without foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez due to elbow pain, and Thomas Pannoni will not be able to pitch this weekend as he pitched against the Daegu Samsung Lions on the 12th. They will have to rely on domestic pitchers. First, Yoon Young-cheol, the youngest candidate for the Rookie of the Year, will start on the 15th, and Hwang Dong-ha will pitch on the 16th. Alternate starter Kim Ki-hoon, who was rested due to the rainout on the 14th, is preparing for a long relief appearance on the 16th.
When asked about facing Doosan’s first, second, and third starters, Kim laughed and said, “Is that how you set up your rotation?” before adding, “I don’t know what to do. We have to play only with domestic players. Especially the younger players are playing today and tomorrow. I don’t want them to feel any pressure,” he said.
“Tomorrow (Nov. 16), the starting pitcher will be Hwang Dong-bong, and Kim Ki-hoon will be behind him. If (Hwang) Dong-ha pitches five innings like he did last time, we might go with another pitcher,” he added.
KIA will start Kim Do-young (shortstop), 안전놀이터 Lee Chang-jin (center fielder), Na Sung-beom (designated hitter), Choi Hyung-woo (left fielder), Kim Sun-bin (second baseman), Lee Woo-sung (right fielder), Hwang Dae-in (first baseman), Han Jun-soo (catcher), and Choi Jung-yong (third baseman). The starting pitcher is Yoon Young-cheol.
Foreign hitter Socrates Brito is out of the starting lineup to manage his health. A KIA official said, “There are no injuries. It’s just for rest.”