When ‘they’ come, there’s no excuse… KIA on the verge of a showdown, the key is ‘a five-figure win’

‘When the day comes.

The long-awaited injured duo of Na Seong-beom (34) and Kim Do-young (20) of the Korean baseball team KIA are back in action after a long rehabilitation tunnel. They were named in the starting lineup side by side against Lotte in the Futures League in Hampyeong on the 20th. The club and fans have been eagerly awaiting their return.토토사이트

Na Sung-beom hasn’t appeared in a game this season. He suffered a calf muscle injury during the 2023 World Baseball Classic (WBC) before the start of the season. It ended his streak of appearing in all games over the past two seasons.

Kim Do-young only appeared in two games. In the second game of the opening two-game series against SSG, he fractured his left toe while running the bases and had to leave the game, which was especially disappointing since he had a three-hit performance in that game.

His return to the lineup was satisfying. Kim lived up to the hype, going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Na Sung-beom also fulfilled his purpose with a 1-for-3 performance. However, the team is cautious about the timing of his return to the first team. The plan is to call him up when he’s in perfect shape.

It’s clear that his return is very close. Na Sung-beom is a hitter who quickly became the centerpiece of the team in his first season as a free agent in 2022. Kim Do-young is a rookie with a “taste for the big leagues” who overcame a stuttering debut season to promise a different second year. Their arrival is like a blessing in disguise.

The KIA Tigers huddle together before the game to strengthen their will to win. Photo courtesy of the KIA Tigers

It also means that KIA will be entering the competition in earnest. Coach Kim Jong-kook has said many times that “we’ll see when Sung-beom and Do-young come back.” Once they return, the team will have to break the frustrating streak of mid-table finishes. There are no more excuses for slumping.

The first task is to return to a 5 percent winning percentage. Kia hasn’t been out of the win-loss column since its five-point win over Gwangju KT on March 31. They’ve been stuck in sixth place for the entire time. If they can get back to a 5% win rate, they’ll have a better chance of crossing the invisible line in the leaderboard and breathing fresh air.

It’s not impossible. The bats of Socrates Brito, Lee Woo-sung, and Byun Woo-hyuk are on fire, led by Choi Hyung-woo, who made KBO history by becoming the league’s all-time RBI leader with 1,500. As of the 21st, the team is batting .262, which is third in the league. The return of Na Sung-beom and Kim Do-young will only add fuel to the fire. The real test comes for KIA.

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