The KBO is coming to the end of its regular season schedule, with all 10 teams having played at least 100 games by last week. While each team has a slightly different number of games remaining, every game is now crucial for every team.바카라사이트
Especially in September, a number of variables, both large and small, are expected to have a significant impact on teams and the league. The expanded entry system, which goes into effect on January 1, and the selection of the baseball team for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games complicate the math for the 10 teams.
Still, the biggest variable will be injuries. While an injury early in the season gives a player plenty of time to recover and a chance to return, an injury after September is devastating for both the team and the player. It can directly affect the race for the top spot.
The LG Twins are no exception to this rule. On April 26, foreign pitcher Adam Plutko, who started the game against the NC Dinos at Changwon NC Park, left the mound after only four innings due to discomfort in his left adductor (inner thigh muscle).
Plutko, who was removed from the roster to rest before the first-half deadline, took the mound after more than two weeks off, but delayed his start late last month after feeling ill. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with COVID-19. He was out for about a month.
LG managed to put out the fire by acquiring starting pitcher Choi Won-tae in a trade with the Kiwoom Heroes late last month, but if Plutko’s injury is prolonged, LG’s starting rotation will be disrupted for the rest of the season. The team will be keeping a close eye on Plutko’s health, as the presence of a foreign pitcher is a big part of the team’s strength, although it’s possible to rely on the likes of Kim Yun-sik, Lee Min-ho, and Kang Hyo-jong as alternate starters.
Second-place KT Wiz, which is closely followed by LG, has also been plagued by injuries. At the beginning of the season, the team had a couple of injuries, but as time went on, the team got closer to full strength and didn’t have to worry about injuries anymore.
However, the loss of starting pitcher Uhm Sang-baek and main shortstop Kim Sang-soo to microfractures in their ribs and a sore left ankle, respectively, made it inevitable. Park Byung-ho, who has a calf injury, has been struggling to get into the starting lineup. It’s nothing short of a miracle that he made it to second place, but now that he’s on “defense,” KT has to be vigilant about injuries.
The teams fighting for a spot in the Top 5 are facing similar challenges. After sweeping a three-game series against LG last weekend, NC lost Park Se-hyuk to tendinitis in his left wrist, and Ahn Jung-yeol was diagnosed with partial damage to his right adductor muscle. For the time being, Kim Hyung-jun and Park Dae-on will have to share the pitching duties.
In addition, “lefty ace” Koo Chang-mo, who was sidelined with a fatigue fracture in his left ulna, will begin long toss and pitching preparation this week, but it’s unclear if he’ll return in September. As a result, the team will have to rely on the performance of its existing starters.
KIA, which is on a four-game winning streak, is also not feeling well. Lee Yi-ri, who started against KT on July 22, was diagnosed with simple inflammation in his shoulder after complaining of shoulder pain, and is expected to return early next month if all goes well. However, it is unclear if he will be at 100%.
Foreign pitcher Mario Sanchez is also out of the lineup. Sanchez started a home game against the Gwangju Hanwha Eagles and pitched seven innings of two-hit ball, striking out six and walking one to earn his fourth win of the season, but he felt unwell afterward. On Aug. 28, he was examined at two hospitals and “cross-checked,” and was diagnosed with a right medial collateral ligament injury and impingement syndrome. He will need about three weeks for rehabilitation, according to the club.
The Doosan Bears, who have slipped to sixth place, have shaken off injuries and returned Yang Yang-ji and Jeong Soo-bin to the starting lineup, but Choi Seung-yong, who has been playing a “fifth starter” role, is still missing. The reason is a finger injury, and in his start against the Jamsil NC on April 19, he left the mound after just 2⅔ innings when a blister appeared on his left middle finger while pitching.
Choi hasn’t pitched since he was designated for assignment, so it will be a while before he returns to the first team. If all goes according to plan, he will be pitching out of the bullpen for the second team this week. That means he won’t be ready for the first team until September. I’m more worried about overloading the mound.
From here on out, the impact of an injury is going to be as big as a loss. It remains to be seen which team can survive at a time when injuries need to be minimized.