Lee tries for career-high ‘multiple wins’ against hottest team

Lee Yi-ri (20-KIA Tigers) is on the verge of reaching a career-high in individual wins and faces the hottest team in the game. He also has a mission to end his team’s losing streak.

Lee will make his 21st start of the season on 22 July against the KT Wiz in the 2023 KBO League at Katie Wiz Park in Suwon먹튀검증. After struggling with his pitches in the first half of the season, Lee has been “zero” since July and is looking more settled with the lead support of new catcher Kim Tae-gun. Ji added a victory on the 16th against the Kiwoom Heroes with six innings of one-run ball, giving him 10 wins this season. It’s the second straight year he’s won 10 games after last season (2022).

Lee will attempt to match his single-season win total against KT on the 22nd. His record last season was 10 wins and 10 losses. While Lee’s form has improved significantly recently, with a breakthrough in hitting, fastballs and aggressive pitching, the key to this matchup is that KT is currently the hottest team of the 10 clubs.

KT has won eight of its last 10 games (two losses). The team fell to the bottom of the standings early in the season due to a number of injuries, but after overhauling their line-up, they regained their ‘favourites’ form and won 21 of their 26 games in the second half of the season to move into second place in the league, overtaking SSG Landers, who were the perennial runners-up. Starting on the mound today (22nd) is Uhm Sang-baek, who has made quality starts (QS-6 innings or more and 3 earned runs or less) in his last two games against KIA.

Lee has pitched well in his two starts against KT this season. In his first start on 30 May at home (Gwangju Kia Champions Field), he threw five innings of one-run ball, followed by five innings of no-hit ball against Suwon on 8 May. His July appearance came at a time when KT was on the rise.

However, the 2021-2022 season has not been kind to him, with three losses in four starts without a win. In 20 innings pitched, he gave up 17 runs (13 earned) for a 5.85 ERA.

Photo: KIA Tigers

Currently, KT is without its leading hitter Park Byung-ho, who is battling a left calf injury. Kang Baek-ho, their other main hitter, is out of the first team. However, Kim Min-hyuk, who has been the weakest link in the batting order with a .556 batting average, is showing his best individual form this season. KT is currently riding a two-hit power combination rather than individual ability and form.

KIA has won five of its last 10 games. As of the 21st, they are sixth in the league with 48 wins, two draws and 49 losses on the season. The Doosan Bears and Lotte Giants, who are also vying for a spot in the top five, are not too far off the pace thanks to their inability to climb out of the sub-5 per cent win column.

Recently, KIA has been without ace Yang Hyun-jong, who was dropped from the first team roster due to poor form, and foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez, who has struggled for four consecutive games. Lee Yi-ri will have to lead the team to 11 individual wins and a team victory.

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