“His swing speed is down.” “He looks unmotivated.”
Last week, the KIA Tigers suffered their fifth straight loss, including a three-game sweep of the Doosan Bears. While there were many factors that contributed to the losses, a cooled-down batting lineup was the biggest problem, especially with foreign hitter Socrates failing to show the form he showed last season after opening the season. Even with Na Sung-beom out with an injury, the lack of Socrates’ performance meant that the KIA batting lineup was unable to get a boost. Even veteran Choi Hyung-woo could only do so much.
Much has been said about Socrates’ slump. Last year, in his KBO debut season, he had the worst April in the league and rebounded dramatically in May to become the best foreign hitter. This year, we waited until May to see how he would fare, and when he didn’t rebound until mid-May, most were skeptical.
KBS N Sports commentators Park Yong-taek and Na Ji-wan diagnosed Socrates’ slump in an analysis program. Na, who knows KIA and Socrates better than anyone else, analyzed that “Socrates’ swing speed is definitely off.” Park had a different view. Park, a master batting coach, doesn’t see much in the way of technical problems, but he does see a lack of motivation compared to last year. The team is missing key players such as Na Sung-bum and Kim Do-young, so he emphasized that they should wait to see Socrates’ play after Na Sung-bum returns and evaluate it then. He said that Socrates’ mindset could change when the center field is complete 먹튀검증.
I wondered if Socrates had seen the broadcast, and if he was frustrated. Suddenly, he exploded. Socrates physically showed “I am alive” in five games last week, except for one game against the Samsung Lions, which was canceled due to rain. Socrates announced his resurgence by hitting a wedge three-run shot against Samsung Electronics on the 16th. The three-run shot came 16 days after his last one against the LG Twins on March 30.
And the momentum continued. On the 17th, he had back-to-back multi-hit games against Samsung Electronics, including a home run, and then had two hits in three games in a three-game series against Kiwoom over the weekend. Four consecutive multi-hit games. In the second game on the 20th, he once again hit a home run over the fence. Five games, 21 hits, nine doubles and three home runs. He even added two stolen bases in the three-game series against Kiwoom.
As Socrates lived, so did KIA. Four straight wins after five straight losses. It was disappointing to lose the last game of the series 0-1 on the 21st, but it showed what a difference a center fielder can make.