The baseball game at the Hangzhou Asian Games had a happy ending with a gold medal. The 24 Taeguk Warriors were all smiles as they took home the gold.
Meanwhile, the 10 teams that sent representatives had mixed results. There was a big difference in the performance of some teams and others.
The best performing team since September 23, when the squad was called up, was the SSG Landers. They have eight wins, one draw, and three losses in 12 games for a winning percentage of 7.32%. SSG, which had fallen to sixth place and was in danger of missing out on the top five until September 22, has performed even better despite the loss of star shortstop Park Sung-seong and outfielder Choi Ji-hoon. They have recently won six straight games to climb to fourth place and are in a fierce battle for third place with the NC Dinos and Doosan Bears. A 2-3 loss to NC on the 7th dropped them to 5th place, but they are only half a game behind 3rd place NC.
In second place are the Samsung Lions. They are missing Won Tae-in and Kim Sung-yoon, but they have a decent record of 7-4 in 11 games. They’ve beaten top teams like LG, NC, and KT, and played well against Hanwha and Lotte.
LG also had a good 8-5 record, with veteran Kim Min-sung filling the void left by Moon Bo-kyung at third base, and the bullpen of Jung Woo-young and Ko Woo-seok being filled by the existing bullpen of Kim Jin-sung, Yoo Young-chan, and Baek Seung-hyun. Even after clinching the championship, the team has been the team of the week with a 2-2 record.
Lotte has a 6-5 record. With starters Park Se-woong and Na Kyun-an out, and Yoon Dong-hee called up at the last minute, they’re down three players but have a record of over 5%. However, the fight for the top five is already over, so Lotte’s late surge is unfortunate.
The team that was hit hardest by the departures was the NC Dinos. They lost their starting catcher Kim Hyung-jun, starting shortstop Kim Joo-won, and bullpen pitcher Kim Young-gyu, all of whom were essential to the team. 스포츠토토 The loss of Koo Chang-mo, who was cut from the national team at the last minute, was even more devastating. NC went into a severe slump after the call-up, going 4-9 in 13 games. NC, which was in third place, one game behind second-place KT Wiz before the call-up, is now fighting for third place with Doosan and SSG. They are 3.5 games behind KT.
Hanwha is missing center fielder Noh Si-hwan. They went just 4-8 in 12 games. They were in eighth place before the call-up, 2.5 games ahead of Samsung, but the position changed between the Asian Games. They are also two games behind last-place Kiwoom and are worried about finishing last. It doesn’t help that Moon Dong-ju has already finished his regular season appearances.
With NC, Doosan, and SSG battling for third place during the Asian Games, the battle for the top spot will come down to the wire. With third place going directly to the semi-playoffs, it’s all hands on deck. Sixth-place KIA is 3.5 games behind fifth-place SSG as of the seventh day. With less than 10 games remaining, KIA’s chances of a top-five finish are slim unless they go on a winning streak and one of NC, Doosan, or SSG has a miraculous losing streak.
The national team players return home on the 8th. They could play as early as the 9th. How will the final standings battle unfold once the national team players return?