“In a spirit of goodwill and competition…” From a -14 win-loss margin to a +9 win-loss margin, KT’s magic didn’t just happen.
“There’s a good sense of competition…”
Something magical has happened to KT Wiz this season. In the beginning of the season, the team was unable to play at 100% due to injuries and ended up finishing last with a poor record of 16 wins, 2 draws, and 29 losses through May. On June 2, they lost against the Suwon Doosan Bears, dropping their win-loss margin to -14.
However, KT started to rise from there. They went on a winning streak and a losing streak in June, finishing with 15 wins and 8 losses and moving up to seventh place in the standings. They followed that up with a 13-6 record in July, good enough for fifth place. In August, they had a strong showing with 10 wins and 2 losses to climb to third place and threaten second-place SSG Landers.
One of the reasons for KT’s rise is their starting pitching. Their five starters – William Cuevas, Wes Benjamin, Go Young-pyo, Uhm Sang-baek, and Byeol-seong – are doing their jobs.
In the second half, KT’s starters have a 2.64 ERA. This is the lowest among the 10 clubs. The second-place SSG is 3.24. Their WHIP (walks allowed per inning) is also the best at 1.14. They also have 133 innings pitched in 21 games. Samsung is second with 112⅓ innings in 21 games.
In a start against the Doosan Bears of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Jamsil Stadium in Seoul on Friday, Cuevas pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run, walking two and striking out seven to earn his sixth win of the season.
“When you have good competition with your teammates, it makes everyone happy when they do well. It makes you want to do better, and it makes you want to help the team win. Those things are working in our favor.”
Cuevas returned to KT in June as a replacement foreign pitcher for Bo Schuler. In three games in June, he went 1-0 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 16⅔ innings with six runs (six earned). In four games in July, he struggled, going 2-2 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 22⅔ innings, allowing 14 runs (14 earned). But in August, he’s been tremendous, going 3-0 with a 0.43 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and 1 run (1 earned) in 21 innings pitched in three games. 메이저사이트
Cuevas said, “I’m a little bit warmer at the end of the season than I was at the beginning. “It doesn’t change much, but I feel like I’m getting better as the season goes on and I’m having a better August,” Cuevas said. “I want it to be better than it is. I’m very happy right now, but it would be even better if I could do better than this.”
KT, which was in last place in May, is now two games behind second-place SSG. “I’m pitching while dreaming about the Korean Series,” Cuevas said. When I came to Korea, the team was in seventh or eighth place, and I always told the players, ‘Don’t worry. We’re a team that can move up if we focus on one game a week and win a lot,'” he said, adding, “We’re already up to third place.”