KIA Tigers 162 wins Yang Hyun-jong (35) pitched poorly again.
Yang was not smiling when he took the mound against the SSG Landers on 7 July at the Gwangju-Kia Champions Field. He gave up seven runs on 11 hits (two walks) in 4⅓ innings, an unbelievable back-to-back. In two games in June, he gave up 16 runs in 6⅓ innings. His ERA skyrocketed from 3.57 to 4.55.
In his resignation game against the Lotte Giants on the 2nd of June, Yang gave up seven runs in the first inning and two in the second before leaving early. It was his most runs allowed in a single game since joining the team in 2007. The Lotte batters attacked Yang with aggressive hitting from the very beginning. It was a shocking amount of runs for a pitcher who had been in good form from the start.
His ERA increased from 2.29 to 3.57. He pitched again on the same day, four days apart. Moreover, he was absolutely strong for SSG. They have won nine consecutive games since 11 August 2018 in Munhak. He also proved to be a formidable foe in the Gwangju game on 9 May, throwing eight scoreless innings.
In the first inning, he retired the first three batters he faced, but the signs were there from the second inning. Ha Jae-hoon singled to third base and Oh Tae-gon walked. Kim Sung-hyun flied out to centre and Kim Min-sik induced a grounder to the pitcher on a full count to end the threat. Socrates Brito and Choi Hyung-woo supported with back-to-back singles in the first inning.안전놀이터
However, they faltered in the third inning. Leadoff hitter Kang Jin-sung and Choi Ji-hoon hit back-to-back doubles over the centre-field fence to give up the first run. A batter later, Choi Jung gave up a single to left field to tie the game. He struck out Heredia but gave up an RBI single to Oh Tae-gon after Ha Jae-hoon walked.
In the bottom of the third, Socrates hit a three-run homer to right to cut the deficit to 5-3, but gave up four straight hits in the bottom of the fourth. Choi Ji-hoon singled to left, Park Sung singled to right-centre, and Choi Jeong singled to left. Heredia was unable to get out of the jam and gave up a two-run double to left-centre to cut the deficit to 5-6.
In the fifth inning, he gave up a double to Oh Tae-gon that fell just short of the third base line, and with runners on first and third, he gave up a double to Kim Min-sik in right-centre. Pitching coach Jung Myung-won came out and announced the eighth inning. For the second game in a row, Kang gave up a run before the fifth inning. It was a nightmare June. Hwang Dong-ha got two outs and no further runs were scored.
Yang Hyun-jong’s slump was completely unexpected. Until May, he was cruising with a 2.29 ERA with five quality starts in eight games. He even surpassed Hanwha legend Jung Min-cheol for second place on the career wins list with 162. However, his sudden struggles in June have been a cause for concern.
KIA’s foreign duo of Shawn Anderson and Adonis Medina have not been as potent as they could have been. Lee Yi-ri, despite throwing a hot ball, hasn’t been able to complete many innings due to poor control. Add to that the faltering form of Yang Hyun-jong, and the KIA starting line-up is in trouble.