SSG faltering… now aiming for third place

Baseball’s final standings battle heats up

SSG is heating up the battle for third place in the 2023 Korean Baseball Organization. On June 6, SSG defeated Hanwha 7-2 at home in Incheon to extend its winning streak to six games. Choi Jeong (36), the No. 3 hitter, hit a solo home run in the first inning off opposing starter Lee Tae-yang. After leading off the game with a double in the bottom of the first inning, Choi came up to bat in the top of the third inning with a 4-0 lead and again smashed a solo shot over the left field fence. With the two home runs, Choi (28-2) closed the gap on Hanwha’s Noh Si-hwan (31-1), who is competing in the Hangzhou Asian Games, to three. SSG starter Moon Seung-won (34) pitched six innings of two-run ball (seven hits and two walks) to earn his fifth win of the season (7-1).

SSG improved to 8-2-1 in its last 11 games. They moved from a tie for fourth to sole possession of fourth place in the standings (71 wins, 63 losses, 3 ties, 0.5298 winning percentage), with no points separating them from third-place Doosan (70 wins, 62 losses, 2 ties, 0.530 winning percentage). Fifth-place NC (70W63L2D-0.526) has lost six straight games, including three straight to SSG, after holding onto third place for nearly a month. Only 0.5 games separate third and fifth place.스포츠토토

Samsung beat second-place KT 6-2 in Suwon. Koo Ja-woo, 30, led the offense with a 3-for-4 performance, including a one-run homer in the eighth inning. Closer Oh Seung-hwan pitched a scoreless ninth inning with a 6-2 lead to preserve the win. It was not a save situation as he came in with a four-run lead, but he is one save away from becoming the first pitcher in Korean baseball history to record 400 career saves.

In Jamsil, sixth-ranked KIA came from behind to beat first-place LG 3-2. Trailing 0-2, they scored three runs in the eighth inning on four hits and a walk.

Earlier in the day, the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) announced the schedule for the remaining games (Nov. 11-17) that had been canceled due to rain. Third-place Doosan has the most games remaining among the 10 teams, with eight games against KT-Lotte-NC-KIA-LG (two games) and SSG (two games) from Nov. 10-17 without a break. In the final week of the regular season, fifth-place NC has two days off and fourth-place SSG has three days off, which is relatively favorable for “catching your breath. This year’s postseason will kick off with a wildcard matchup between the 4th and 5th place teams on the 19th.

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