“It was a turning point.”
KT Wiz had a rough start to the season. Their main players were sidelined with injuries. Foreign pitchers also struggled. Homegrown starter Choi Soo-joon was also out for the season due to injury. The starting lineup was also shaky.
At the time of the June 2 home loss to the Doosan Bears, KT’s record was 16 wins, 2 draws, and 30 losses with a win-loss margin of -14. However, KT began to fight back. In June, they went through a series of wins and losses and finished with a record of 15 wins and 8 losses. They jumped from 10th to 7th place.
KT’s momentum was frightening. Since July 1, they have 48 wins, 1 draw, and 25 losses. That’s a staggering 0.658 winning percentage. In the end, KT fell to the bottom of the table, but managed to climb back up to second place. They finished the regular season with 79 wins, 3 draws, and 62 losses, punching their ticket to the playoffs.
KT head coach Lee Kang-cheol credits William Cuevas as a key player in their rebound. Cuevas returned to KT in mid-June as a replacement foreign pitcher for Bo Schuler. He appeared in 18 games and posted a record of 12 wins, 114 innings pitched, 33 runs (33 earned), 26 walks, 100 strikeouts, and a 2.60 ERA. He became the first pitcher in the KBO to win 100% of his starts.
In particular, KT went 14-4 in games in which Cuevas pitched. The return of ‘Bok-poong’ was a factor in the second half of the season. 먹튀검증
“Cuevas pitched 18 games and won 12 of them, and we won 14 of them,” said Lee Kang-cheol. ”We won all but four of those games when he was out,” Lee said. “That’s important, but when he came in, our shaky starting lineup regained some stability.
“With Cuevas settling in, (Go) Young-pyo, (Wes) Benjamin, (Um) Sang-baek, and (Bae) Je-seong were all able to go without being shaky, and that synergy came out. I think we got 12 wins + α. We were able to save a lot of innings, and that saved our bullpen,” he said. “The team moved quickly and made changes in a tough situation, and that was the turning point.”