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Lee Kang-cheol, head coach of the KT Wiz in the Korean Baseball Organization, attributed the recent slump of the starting pitching staff to fitness issues.

“The starting pitchers are tired,” Lee said, “and that’s because they’ve been throwing a lot,” ahead of the team’s upcoming game against the SSG Landers of the 2023 KBO at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on Wednesday.

“William Cuevas and Ko Young-pyo’s velocity dropped when we looked at their recent pitching data,” Lee said.

After a strong start to the season, the native ace gave up six runs on nine hits in five innings against the Kiwoom Heroes on April 1 and six runs on 10 hits in six innings against the LG Twins on April 7.

He’s only allowed six or more runs in a game three times this season, with two of those games coming recently.

The story is similar for William Cuevas, who earned the monthly Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for his five-game August run with a 0.50 ERA.

He gave up four runs on seven hits in three innings against the LG on Aug. 5 and three runs on 10 hits in six innings against the SSG Landers on Aug. 10.

He’s giving up a lot of hits because he’s tired and his velocity has dropped, leading to a higher strikeout rate.

Another poor starter. His fifth starter status is also in question. In his last four starts, he’s been torched for a 7.17 ERA.

As the trusted starters have fallen apart, so has the team’s performance. KT has the second-worst team record of the 10 clubs with two wins, six losses and one tie in nine games since September.

It’s a tough situation, but Lee hopes his players can squeeze out one last effort.

“It’s not a situation where we can make any changes (to the starting rotation),” Lee said, urging the players to “get through it because we have to win the last game.”

“We have a tight schedule this week, including a double header against the Hanwha Eagles on the 17th,” he said, “but it’s good that the bats are coming alive lately.” 스포츠토토

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