Captain Na Sung-bum’s bonhead play and director Lee Bum-ho’s “Baseball of Trust” also saw limitations

KIA lost to Lotte 3-9 at the 2024 Shinhan SOL Bank KBO League regular season home game held at Gwangju-Kia Champions Field in Buk-gu, Gwangju on the 5th. With this, KIA lost three consecutive games, especially against Lotte, and allowed its team to trail second-ranked LG (35 wins, 2 draws and 25 losses), which won against Kiwoom on the same day with 35 wins, 1 draw and 24 losses.여우알바

It was a complete defeat with no excuses or result. The strongest lineup in the league garnered only four hits and two points against Lotte starter Han Hyun-hee. The must-win group led by Jang Hyun-sik and Choi Ji-min failed to maintain a tight race and collapsed.

What was most disappointing was captain Na Sung-bum’s complacent play. Na’s consecutive bon-head plays effectively created a mood for the game. It started with a hit by Yoon Dong-hee with two outs in the top of the third inning. Yoon’s ball that targeted Hwang Dong-ha’s curve was towards the right outfield foul line somewhat slowly. Right fielder Na Sung-bum did not aggressively dash the ball but gave up the hit. Afterwards, Yoon advanced to second base with a wild pitch and made a first run with a bold home dash when Victor Reyes had an infield hit, which was regrettable.

It was understandable that Na Sung-bum had to suffer from a hamstring injury this year. Even when he poured cold water on the first and second bases with one out in the bottom of the third inning, he was able to praise Lotte third baseman Son Ho-young for his agile defense.

However, there was no excuse for his play in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth inning, he gave up a double with one out, and caught Reyes’ hit right in front of the fence with one out and the runner on the second base. The problem was that he didn’t make a follow-up play as if he mistook the out count. He threw the ball to the infield late, but the runner on the second base turned around the third base and ran home, making it 3-0.

The move was in stark contrast to Lotte players’ eagerness to move forward even with just one base. On the day, Lotte Giants’ Son Ho-young blocked the opponent team’s good flow by banking on his stellar defense in the early days of the game, and boldly tried to run the base on KIA fielders’ error-prone play to score a point. In the top of the third inning, with runners on the first and second bases with two outs, Yoon dug deep into the home ground on Kim Sun-bin’s error-prone play, and Ko Seung-min drove home on Na’s error-prone play with one out and second base in the top of the fifth inning. In the top of the seventh inning, with one out and a runner on the second base, Hwang added another run by rushing to the home despite Yoon’s rather short-lived hit to the left field.

The captain’s apparent bonhead play pushed the boundaries of baseball, too. In the end, KIA manager Lee Bum-ho replaced Na Sung-bum with Lee Chang-jin ahead of his defense in the top of the sixth inning. According to an KIA official, it was not an injury. In fact, it was safe to assume that the replacement was a de facto replacement of reprimand. It is rare that Lee Bum-ho replaced reprimand rather than a strategic replacement based on the opponent team’s pitcher this season. His message to the team was also significant.

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