In the sweltering heat, starting pitching powerhouse KT is showing its true colors. KT has won six straight games with strong starting baseball.
KT won 3-1 against SSG at KT Wiz Park in Suwon on July 3. After breaking into the top five for the first time since April with a win over LG Electronics on July 25, KT moved up to fourth place with the win over SSG on July 2. With its six-game winning streak, KT has now eliminated third-place Doosan as the most fearsome chaser in the top half of the standings.
KT swept a three-game series against former fifth-place contender NC, and then won all three games against second-place SSG. It was the first time in two years since August 25-27, 2021, that the team swept a three-game series against SSG, and the first time in four years since June 28, 2019, against KIA and July 4, 2019, against Samsung Electronics.
On this day, they also won the start. Uhm Sang-baek pitched seven innings of six-hit ball, two walks, five strikeouts and one earned run to pick up his fifth win of the season.
Uhm also won against the NC on July 28, when KT’s six-game winning streak began, with six innings and two runs on six hits. From that day on, KT continued its winning streak with six consecutive quality starts (6+ innings and 3 or fewer earned runs) as Choi Byeol-sung (1 run in 6.1 innings), Benjamin (2 runs in 6 innings), Ko Young-pyo (no runs in 8 innings), and Cuevas (no runs in 7 innings) rotated through the starting rotation, followed by Uhm again.
Especially in the three-game series against the long-hitting second-ranked SSG, the team won the series in a sweep, giving up only one run in total and boasting a monster mound with all three starters going more than seven innings. The bullpen, which consisted of Lee Sang-dong on the first day of the three-game series and Park Young-hyun and Kim Jae-yoon on the next two days, finished the games in less than three hours for the third consecutive day.
In the top of the eighth inning, Young-hyun Park pitched a scoreless inning to extend his streak to three consecutive games, recording his 20th save of the season and retaining the league lead in saves. The second-year senior became the third player in KT’s history to record 20 holds in a single season, joining Joo Kwon (2019-2021) and Kim Min-soo (2022).
Closer Kim Jae-yoon also closed out the top of the ninth to earn his third consecutive save and move into a tie for third place in saves with his 18th of the season.
KT’s success has been fueled by a combination of steady pitching and even hitting. Uhm threw 95 pitches on the day, using only his changeup, fastball, and slider to settle into the seventh inning. He gave up a leadoff single to No. 9 Choi Ji-hoon and a stolen base to No. 1 Choo Shin-soo in the top of the third, but the Tigers answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning. With runners on second and third, No. 4 Park Byung-ho singled to tie the game, Jang Sung-woo walked to load the bases, and No. 6 Hwang Jae-gyun followed with a two-run single to left to seal the deal. 안전놀이터
SSG also suffered a “sweep” as McCarty pitched seven innings of two-run ball on the first day and Kim Kwang-hyun pitched seven innings of one-run ball on the second day, but they were unable to get any offensive support, while Elias, who started the day, gave up three runs in five innings.
KT manager Lee Kang-cheol said, “The starting pitchers have been playing really well lately. Uhm Sang-baek handled the early crisis well, and he pitched well inning after inning.