Kia’s Kim Do-Young explodes to .426 with 9 RBIs

LG-Hanwha leads 6-game winning streak against Korea

“(Kim) didn’t have a particularly good at-bat against Do-Young, but it’s a different metric, so he’s going to get hot, just give him a little bit of time.”

Throughout the month of March, both Kim’s velocity and batting average were fine. However, even the common mistakes didn’t come in the opening week when the aces were out, so everyone in the Kia Tigers organization didn’t lose faith in Kim Do-young (21) despite his poor batting average of .154 (4-for-26) in March.

As his batting slump continued and his defense faltered, there was some criticism. However, KIA manager Lee Bum-ho personally defended Kim, saying, “He has good defense. I think he will get better because he has recognized his mistakes,” Lee said.
“I think it’s probably the effect of the offense. I got a lot of good pitches. Hitting has a cycle, so there are times when it doesn’t work and times when it does.” “Kim Do-young is a player who will lead our team in both offense and defense. There will be many more games where we will win with her defense.”

It was a week where Lee’s faith paid off. Kim started at first base and third base in the visiting 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League regular-season game at Hanwha Life Eagles Park in Daejeon on Thursday, going 2-for-5 with one home run, one RBI, one run scored and one strikeout.

His thunderous home run helped lead Kia to victory. In the top of the first inning, he smashed a 146-kilometer-per-hour (mph) fastball from Ricardo Sanchez over the left-field fence at Eagles Park. It was his fourth home run of the season, a 110-meter shot. In the top of the fourth inning, Kim completed his fifth multi-hit game of the season with a single to left-center field.

Behind Kim’s performance, Kia won 5-2 over Hanwha and extended its winning streak to six games. This week, Kia faced a tough test. They hosted the defending champion LG Twins and had to deal with a Hanwha team that has been on a roll, led by Ryu Hyun-jin (37). The outcome was all the more surprising given that the team finished the previous week with two straight losses to the Samsung Lions and was in a bad mood after losing starting shortstop Park Chan-ho (29), left-hander Young-gun Lee (22), and backup shortstops Park Min (23) and Yoon Do-hyun (21) to strains.

At the center of it all was Kim Do-young, who stepped into the leadoff spot for KIA. Starting in the leadoff spot in a three-game home series against LG, Kim batted .462 (12-for-26) with three home runs, nine RBIs, six runs scored and four stolen bases on the 바카라 week to lead the team to a six-game winning streak. In the first two games against Hanwha, he was batting third and serving as the center fielder, but he came through with a series of crucial hits.

The offseason’s mental preparation seems to be paying off. Kia started this season by inviting a psychological counselor to provide one-on-one counseling sessions. “If players feel that they need psychological help due to excessive pressure and competitive spirit, we want to help them stabilize and regain their skills through counseling,” the team said.

Kim sought psychological counseling to learn how to detach. This was so that a bad defense or attack would not lead to the next attack and defense. But he didn’t get it right the first time. There were many trials. One of them was against KT in Suwon on Feb. 2, which was the last first-team game for his friend Hwang Dong-ha (22), who pitched 1⅔ innings with two hits, three walks, one strikeout and four runs (zero earned). In the bottom of the eighth inning, with Kia trailing 6-1, Kim failed to catch a grounder to shortstop, allowing Jang Jang-woo to score from second base. Mel Rojas Jr. followed with a walk and Kim Min-hyuk’s double to left-center field, giving KIA the lead for good, and they lost 6-10.

At the time, Kim Do-young said, “I’ve been getting mental coaching this season, and when I’m playing defense, I’m focused from the beginning to the end of the game. (Hwang) Dong-ha came up in the game the previous day (Feb. 2), and I’ve never had a friend to help me on defense or offense before, so it made it even harder. I thought, “If a pitch comes to me, I’m going to take it,” and I think that was the poison. If it was any other pitcher, I would have done the same thing, but I felt like I had to help Dong-ha,” he said.

After my mistake, I decided to train more. The idea is to get her body to react before she thinks too much. “Last year, my goal was to not let my batting slump carry over to my defense, but it didn’t work out. This year, I created a routine for when I have bad thoughts,” Kim said. “Unlike hitting, defense is hard to find a gauge, so I try to get a lot of funk so that my legs can react to the bat first. There are a lot of fastballs at third base. In that short time, I have to make sure that my body reacts before my mind does,” he said.

The young tiger’s desperation paid off when the team needed it most and needed to turn things around. With Pajuk’s sixth straight win, KIA improved to 14-4 on the year and took a 1.5-game lead over the second-place NC Dinos.

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