A week of ‘real’ fate unfolds that will determine the Doosan Bears’ return to the postseason for the first time in two years.
Coach Lee Seung-yeop’s prompting,메이저놀이터 “I believe in Doosan this fall,” ultimately became a well-founded confidence. In September, when the season entered early fall, the team recorded a remarkable upward trend of 13 wins, 5 losses, and a winning percentage of .722 (tied for first place), laying the foundation for going beyond fall baseball and starting fall baseball at their home stadium. At the beginning of this month, they were aiming to board the last postseason train from 6th place, but since the 9th, they have recorded an overwhelming winning percentage of 10 wins and 2 losses in 12 games, including 7 consecutive wins, and have risen from 5th place to 4th place. It is also a stable 4th place, 3 games ahead of 5th place SSG.
As the weather got cooler, the scent of the past dynasties came out. In particular, the stability of the mound stood out. In addition to being second in starting ERA (2.84) and first in relief ERA (2.44), he is currently ranked first in team ERA in September (2.67). Kim Myeong-shin, Kim Kang-ryul, Jeong Cheol-won, Hong Geon-hee, Lee Young-ha, and Choi Ji-gang built a solid back door. This is why it achieved first place in September win percentage despite being sixth in monthly team batting average (2.556 li). Instead, the batting line supported the mound with the firepower of the team’s second-highest number of home runs (16) in September.
However, this is not a situation where Doosan can be optimistic about fall baseball. It is said that it usually takes a month to catch up on a three-game streak, but if you look at Doosan’s schedule for the last week of September, the fateful games that could easily be shortened to one week are scheduled one after another. If this week goes smoothly, the return to fall baseball for the first time in two years will become a reality, but in the opposite case, there is a possibility that we will be caught up in the battle for the top five again.
Doosan heads to Incheon on the 26th to play a fateful three-game series against SSG over two days. There is a double header scheduled for the 27th, so if you go to the extreme, they could beat 5th place by 6 games, but conversely, the 3-game gap could be erased. After a one-day break on the 28th, a three-game series against first place LG is scheduled from the 29th to the 1st of next month. Coincidentally, both teams are opponents that Doosan has struggled with this season.
Both series are quite difficult matches. Although SSG is performing poorly in September with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 14 losses, an all-out fight is expected as this is effectively the last opportunity to directly chase down Doosan. This year, they showed a strong record of 8 wins and 4 losses against Doosan, and the fact that the venue is hitter-friendly SSG Landers Field is a plus for SSG, which ranks first in team home runs. In addition, Doosan, whose native ace Kwak Bin left for the Asian Games, brought out the replacement starter Kim Dong-ju card on the 26th.
The Chuseok 3-game series is against LG, which is struggling with 2 wins and 9 losses this season. Looking back on the 11 games, the team was going well, but when they faced LG, the worst scenes occurred one after another, such as poor mounds, frequent errors, and empty-handed hits in scoring positions. Doosan is on a 5-game losing streak against LG since its 7-4 win on June 17th. In addition, LG’s magic number for first place in the regular season decreased to 10 for the first time in 29 years. It is expected that they will put in as much effort as the 5th place fighting team to somehow secure first place early on.
As has been the case so far, Doosan is placing its hopes on the strength of the mound. Although Kwak Bin is missing, the foreign duo of Raul Alcantara and Brandon Waddell are alive and well, and Choi Seung-yong, Choi Won-jun, Jang Won-jun, and Park Shin-ji will step in to fill the void. Even if the starting team collapses early, it is expected that experienced pitchers will be able to make up for the weaknesses as they are positioned at the back. The presence of Yang Eui-ji, a 15.2 billion won catcher who shows off his presence in bigger games, is also a factor that brightens the outlook for fall baseball.
The last week of September will determine Lee Seung-yeop’s fate this season. I’m already curious about the ending.