After reaching the Korean Series for the seventh consecutive year, the Doosan Bears had their worst experience last year, falling to ninth place and hiring a manager with no managerial experience, Lee Seung-yeop, 47. Now, after a season of turnarounds, Lee’s Doosan team deserves a passing grade.메이저놀이터
The first half of the season ended with the rainout of the away match against SSG Landers at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 13th. With 42 wins, 36 losses and one draw, Doosan is in third place, 6.5 games behind leaders LG Twins.
During the nine-game winning streak, the pitching staff regained its stability and the batting lineup improved, especially the veteran hitters who led the team in their prime.
Doosan’s bats came alive in July, with 10 hitters hitting .300 or better
During the nine-game winning streak, Doosan’s batting harmony was fantastic. The pitching staff’s performance was impressive. They had an ERA of just 1.76. It was encouraging to see that all five pitchers in the starting rotation did their job. The defense also stepped up to the plate. We didn’t commit a single error.
The team was second in batting average (.299) and home runs (8), tied for first in runs scored (51), first in slugging percentage (.390), second in on-base percentage (.430), and first in OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) (.820). His 10 stolen bases were tied for second, and his 12.6% walk rate was the highest.
In addition to Yang (0.481 batting average in July), Jang Seung-hyun (0.368), Jung Soo-bin (0.361), Kim Jae-ho (0.350), Jose Rojas (0.333), Kang Seung-ho (0.316), Lee Yoo-chan (0.308), and Heo Kyung-min (0.308), who hadn’t had much success in the past, were all hitting for power. Even Park Jun-young (0.417), who was brought in as a free agent compensation for Park Se-hyuk (NC Dinos), fulfilled his potential and made Lee smile.
The rebound of the veterans was especially welcome. Jung Soo-bin (batting average of 0.259) and Kim Jae-ho (0.215), who struggled last year and were unable to keep their heads above water in the midst of the team’s slump, have stepped up in a big way, easing Lee’s shoulders. Jung Soo-bin utilized his lake legs and quick feet (18 stolen bases), while Kim Jae-ho solved the shortstop woes. Kim Jae-ho has raised his season batting average to 0.301, and Jung Soo-bin is also on the rise with a 0.277 average.
With their rebounds, the “Doosan baseball” that Lee Seung-yeop has talked about so many times has come back to life, and the team has regained the team colors that bring results in any situation.
The return of the veteran, now Kim Jae-hwan
When asked to pick out his favorite players from the first half of the season, coach Lee Seung-yeop singled out Kim Myung-shin, who was busy in the bullpen, and said, “All the veterans struggled,” adding, “Yang Ji-joo came back and did a good job, and Kim Jae-ho also did a very good job in the first half after going to the second team again. Heo Kyung-min also did his best despite not being fully fit.”
He then mentioned Kim Jae-hwan’s name. Kim Jae-hwan is a player that Lee Seung-yeop has considered a key player since his appointment. As a left-handed slugger like himself, he said that Doosan’s batting average has been declining in recent years, including last year under great pressure.
But this season, Kim hasn’t been able to do any of that, batting .240 with seven home runs, 29 RBIs and an OPS of .726. Despite calling Jamsil Stadium, the largest stadium in Korea, home, Kim Jae-hwan was crowned the “Jamsil Home Run King” in 2018 with 44 home runs, but he has been on a steady decline and is not even close to 20 home runs this season. During the nine-game winning streak, many batters were on a roll, but Kim’s batting average was only .152 in July.
Lee said, “It’s hard for those of us who are watching him when he’s not performing as well as we thought he would, but how hard it must be for him. “As I’ve always said, if Kim Jae-hwan plays well, our batting lineup will be more complete. Anyway, if (the slump) continues to the end of the season, I’ll think about it, but for now, I think Kim Jae-hwan needs to find his form. He’s not as good as he wants to be right now, but I know he’s working really hard. I’m very grateful that the veterans are doing such a good job.”
Yang leads the team in both categories with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs, but he has had his ups and downs with the struggles of Kim Jae-hwan and Jose Rojas. Rojas has also been on a roll lately, so if Jae-hwan can stay healthy, the Doosan bats could be even more explosive in the second half.