There is a saying that everything goes well with the family. If the family is harmonious, it means that everything will go well.
Baseball is similar. The most difficult, difficult, and important position in baseball is catcher. The game goes well only when the catcher, known as the home manager, is stable. The catcher must crouch down and catch the pitcher’s balls while catching 27 outs. In one game, a catcher receives between as few as 100 and as many as several hundred balls. And he must receive the manager or coach’s signature every time and instruct the fielders on their operations. Therefore, the catcher is called Anbangma, which means the woman in charge of a household.
KIA suffered from catcher problems all season after letting Park Dong-won leave as a free agent (FA) last winter. Han Seung-taek and Joo Hyo-sang did not meet expectations and were holes in the batting lineup. There was even talk of the batting order giving the opposing team a break. 안전놀이터
In the end, KIA gave up Ryu Ji-hyuk and recruited Kim Tae-gun through a 1:1 trade with Samsung on July 5th. Taegun Kim is a leading defensive catcher in the league who has a lot of experience and a good pitcher lead. He gives pitchers a sense of comfort and is dependable enough for young pitchers, especially, to throw with confidence.
The Kim Tae-gun effect appeared immediately. KIA’s mound began to stabilize after recruiting Kim Tae-gun, and as of the 9th, the team’s ERA was 3.92, ranking third overall. There is not much difference from 1st place LG (3.65). As a catcher with a reputation for good catcher leads, he quickly stabilized the KIA mound.
However, this was not the end of the Kim Tae-gun effect. He also performed brilliantly in attack. In the month of August, he hit hard with a batting average of 0.352 (19 hits in 54 at-bats) and 11 RBIs, and in September, he showed off his hot bat with a batting average of 0.333 (5 hits in 15 at-bats). He truly became KIA’s top catcher and changed the team in two months.
KIA shows a clear difference when Taegun Kim is wearing a catcher’s mask and when he is not. You can tell just by looking at the game against the LG Twins in the ‘2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League’ held at Kia Champions Field in Gwangju on the 8th. On this day, Kim Tae-gun was given a rest and did not play, and Han Jun-su wore a catcher’s mask. KIA’s young pitchers destroyed themselves by allowing seven walks. It was like watching KIA play at the beginning of the season. KIA was unable to use its strength properly and lost 2-12.
Meanwhile, KIA attempted to win 10 games in a row for the first time in 14 years on the 7th, but was defeated due to the silence of the batting lineup. And on the 8th, they lost to LG at home, falling into a 2-game losing streak. As the saying goes, ‘Beware of losing streak after your winning streak ends,’ you need to be careful of the aftereffects. This weekend’s series is a four-game series against leader LG, including the first doubleheader of the season. Kim Tae-goon’s lead is more important than ever to deal with LG’s batting line, which boasts the league’s best offense.
KIA should remember Doosan last July, when it suffered from ‘aftereffects of winning streak’, with 5 wins and 12 losses after the 11-game winning streak was halted. This is the most important moment for KIA, and it is the time for Kim Tae-gun’s experienced lead to shine.
[KIA’s mound has stabilized with the recruitment of Kim Tae-gun. Kim Tae-gun, who is called a defensive catcher, is also playing a big role in the attack as a .300 hitter.