“I talked to the players. It’s a targeted start, so let’s think and play.”
LG manager Yeom Kyung-yeop emphasized overcoming the return of KT starter Wes Benjamin. Before the 25th game against Suwon KT, Yeom said, “꽁머니 Usually, a foreign pitcher comes out in the first series of the second half. Of course, you can have them pitch on Tuesdays and Sundays, but they came out in time for us,” he said, looking ahead to his fourth meeting with Benjamin this season.
The first was on April 1 in Suwon. Benjamin pitched six innings of one-run ball (unearned). He was named the opening day starter after showing improvement in his command from camp, and he lived up to expectations.
Since then, he has had his ups and downs, but has consistently been a winning pitcher for LG. On May 16, he gave up five runs (one earned) in six innings against Jamsil LG, and on July 5, he gave up two runs (one earned) in 5.1 innings against Jamsil LG. It’s three wins in three games against LG. All three of KT’s wins against LG this season have come in Benjamin’s starts.
“He seems to pitch better with us,” Yeom said with a wry smile, “but our hitters still score runs. “But strangely enough, our pitchers are also giving up runs, which makes it a tough game. The last game was the only one Plutko lost,” he recalled of his battle with Benjamin.
A situation that could jinx the team in the future. “It hurts our pride, but we have to get over it,” Yeom said, “I told the players. It’s a targeted selection, so let’s play with that in mind,” he said, emphasizing the need to end their three-game losing streak against Benjamin.
The lineup is the same as at the end of the first half: Hong Chang-ki (right fielder), Moon Sung-joo (left fielder), Kim Hyun-soo (designated hitter), Austin Dean (first baseman), Oh Ji-hwan (shortstop), Park Dong-won (catcher), Moon Bo-kyung (third baseman), Park Hae-min (center fielder), and Shin Min-jae (second baseman). The starting pitcher is Plutko. The starting pitcher on the 26th will be Im Chan-kyu, while Lee Jung-yong will start on the 27th.
Meanwhile, regarding the pitchers preparing to return to the first team from the second team, Yeom said, “(Park) Myung-geun is now pitching in the bullpen. He threw about 20 pitches. (Lee) is coming up faster than I thought. He’s throwing his changeup with a different mechanic. His velocity is up, and I think it’s going to come up faster than expected.”