Lotte didn’t invest 4 billion for this… Already a 10-loss nightmare, it was impossible to use penalty kicks.

August 19, 2023 0 Comments

Lotte Giants lost a close one, but ultimately suffered a comeback loss.

The Lotte Giants lost 4-5 against the Kiwoom Heroes in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Gocheok Sky Dome in Seoul on April 18. On this day, Lotte’s baseball was going smoothly. Until the top of the eighth inning.

The batting lineup didn’t explode with runs, but they did make some moves. Ahn Chi-hong opened the scoring with a two-run homer to left field in the third inning, and in the top of the sixth, with the score tied at 2-2, Ahn’s double to right-center, Noh Jin-hyuk’s sacrifice bunt to the pitcher, and Lee Jung-geun’s sacrifice fly to right field gave Lotte a 3-2 lead. Jun-woo Jeon’s solo home run to left field in the top of the eighth inning was the final blow.

The pitching staff was equally impressive. Starter Charlie Barnes got off to a quality start, throwing 102 pitches over six innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts, while Kim Sang-soo, who came on in the bottom of the seventh, walked leadoff hitter Kim Hye-sung but got Kim Hwijip to ground out to first base to end the Kiwoom rally.

However, they were unable to get over the hump in the eighth inning. As the bottom of the eighth approached, Lotte brought in Han Hyun-hee, who has bounced back and forth between starting and middle relief this year.

It worked. Lotte swept a three-game series against SSG at Sajik Stadium on April 15-17, and the bullpen was severely depleted. Koo Seung-min and Choi Jun-yong, the team’s set-up men, had appeared in all three games against SSG and pitched three consecutive innings, while closer Kim Won-joong had one day’s rest after pitching on the 15th and 16th, but could not be trusted to pitch two innings. Lotte did not have any pitchers who could pitch in a close game, so they chose Han Hyun-hee, who had experience as a setup man.

It turned out to be an unfortunate choice. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Han threw a 145-kilometer fastball to Song Sung-moon, the leadoff hitter, but he was hit by a pitch up the middle, and after a 10-pitch battle with Joo Sung-won, he gave up a walk. Runners on first and second with no outs. But there was no movement from the Lotte bench.

Han Hyun-hee faced Lee Ju-hyung. Lee Joo-hyung was one of the players to watch out for, as he has become known as a “bomber” since coming over from LG in a trade. With the count 1B 1S, Han Hyun-hee threw a three-pitch 147-kilometer fastball that turned into a towering three-run home run.

After falling from 4-2 to 4-5 with a single home run, Lotte had runners on first and second in the top of the ninth, but had to settle for a bitter one-run loss as Yoon Dong-hee and Kim Min-seok walked. The five-game winning streak, which seemed to be all but secured, went down the drain.

It was also not a card that could be used in a tiebreaker. Han Hyun-hee took the loss, her 10th of the season. She became the first player in the league to suffer double-digit losses this year.

In 30 games this season, Han is 5-10 with a 5.77 ERA in 82⅔ innings pitched, so it’s hard to see a resurgence. This is probably not what Lotte was hoping to accomplish with the 4 billion won in free agency, but so far, the results have been disastrous.메이저놀이터

Lotte will be facing their “ace” Ahn Woo-jin against Gochuk Kiwoom on the 19th. Lotte is also starting Na Kyun-ahn, but it’s hard to be 100% confident of his performance as it’s his first start since his hamstring injury. Will Lotte be able to shake off the nightmare of an upset loss and get back on track?

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