Rookie manager’s big challenge…Bears look for 10th straight win in first year with KIA sacrifice

Can ‘newbie’ coach Lee Seung-yeop overtake former manager Kim Sung-geun in the first game of the second half?

The Doosan Bears will take on the 메이저사이트 KIA Tigers of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field on Nov. 21 for their 10th meeting of the season. It will be the first game of the second half.

After a disastrous ninth-place finish last year, Doosan finished the first half of the 2023 season with 42 wins, one draw, 36 losses, and a third-place finish. The team bounced between fifth and sixth place due to a rash of injuries and missteps early in the season, but a nine-game winning streak, starting with a win over Lotte in Ulsan on July 1, propelled them to third place, four games behind second-place SSG. Doosan’s nine-game winning streak was the longest since June 15, 2018, against Daejeon Hanwha under Kim Tae-hyung.

In addition, Lee tied the record for most consecutive wins in a debut season by a Bears manager in history with a win over SSG in Incheon on Nov. 12. It was a moment that tied him with the likes of Kim Young-duk (OB, May 22, 1982 vs. Citizen Samsung Electronics – June 12 vs. MBC) and Kim Sung-geun (OB, April 17, 1984 vs. Sammi – April 28 vs. Guduk Lotte). A win against KIA on Nov. 21 would make history for the Bears’ rookie manager.

The longest winning streak for a domestic manager in the KBO is 10 games. The last three managers to do so were LG’s Chun Bo-sung in 1997, Hanwha’s Lee Hee-soo in 1999, and LG’s Lee Kwang-eun in 2000. The KBO’s first foreign manager, Jerry Royster, won 11 straight games when he took the helm of Lotte in 2008.

In a bid to break the record, Lee called up ace Raul Alcantara to start against the Gwangju Kia on April 21. His season record is 9-3 with a 2.03 ERA in 17 games, and he won his last start on June 8 against Jamsil Kiwoom with a six-inning, two-run quality start. He is undefeated in seven consecutive games since June 2 against Suwon KT. He’s also been quite strong against KIA this year, going 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games.

In response, KIA countered with newcomer Mario Sanchez. Sanchez, a substitute foreign pitcher who became a KIA man on June 6 for an annual salary of $280,000, made his debut against Suwon KT on June 9 and made a strong impression, pitching 6⅓ innings with 10 strikeouts and one earned run.

Meanwhile, Sajik was pitted against Ahn Woo-jin (Kiwoom) and Charlie Barnes (Lotte), Jamsil against Kim Kwang-hyun (SSG) and Casey Kelly (LG), Daejeon against Eric Peddy (NC) and Ricardo Sanchez (Hanwha), and Daegu against William Cuevas (KT) and David Buchanan (Samsung). For the first game of the second half, the aces will be out in full force.

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