The Lotte Giants unintentionally became a supporting player in the KBO League mid-table battle this season. The part that was the biggest problem when I was doing well has been solved, but the bat has cooled down.

Lotte lost 2-4 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against Doosan Bears held at Munsu Baseball Stadium in Ulsan on the 3rd. With this, Lotte showed an uneasy start as they suffered two consecutive losses from the beginning of July. Lotte, leaving Ulsan for the losing series, fell to +1 with a 50% win rate. The 5th place Doosan and the ride were also narrowed by 1.5 games.

On this day, Lotte’s Koh Seung-min (1st baseman) – Yoon Dong-hee (right fielder) – Ahn Chi-hong (2nd baseman) – Jack Rex (left fielder) – Jeon Jun-woo (designated hitter) – Park Seung-wook (shortstop) – Han Dong-hee (3rd baseman) – Hwang Seong-bin (center fielder) – Son Seong-bin (catcher) started the game with the lineup. In place of catcher Yoo Kang-nam, who felt uncomfortable with his knee, Son Seong-bin, who joined the first team after being discharged from the military, was put in the starting lineup. Also, rookie Kim Min-seok sat on the bench and Hwang Seong-bin played.

Although the lineup was changed, Lotte struggled with Binta that day. Prior to the game on this day, against Doosan starter Raul Alcantara, who was ranked second in the league average ERA (1.90), Lotte canceled a difficult chance. In the first inning, lead hitter Koh Seung-min got a hit, but was unable to score a run due to a double hit. Even in the 4th inning, the first batter, Yoon Dong-hee, survived with a hit, but two outcounts went up at once due to a strikeout and a stolen base failure.

Lotte, who lost the first run in the beginning of the 5th inning, opened fire at the end of the 5th with Jeon Jun-woo, the lead batter, getting a hit. Then, Jeon Jun-woo, who went to second base with a stolen base, stepped on the home plate when Hwang Seong-bin hit the left-hander at the right time. Lotte, who followed a point, tied the score 2-2 with Rex’s hit in front of the center fielder in the 6th inning, in a chance created by Ko Seung-min surviving.

However, there was no follow-up score. While they were unable to score a point against the Doosan bullpen, which had been activated since the 7th inning, Doosan took a 4-2 lead again in the top of the 8th when Yang Seok-hwan hit a two-run home run. In the end, Lotte failed in the pursuit and gave up the game in vain.

Lotte scored only 4 points in the 3 consecutive matches between Doosan and Ulsan. In the first day (June 30), the opposing starter Brandon Waddell was held scoreless for 7 innings, and it was only in the 10th inning of overtime that they won 1-0 with Yoon Dong-hee’s final hit. However, the next day, he lost 1-2 in the end as he missed consecutive chances with 1 out, 1st and 2nd bases in the 5th inning, and no bases loaded in the 6th inning.

Including this three-game series, Lotte has been struggling with Binta since June. From June 1st to July 2nd, Lotte recorded 104 team points, which is the lowest with Doosan. The team batting average of 0.249 was the lowest after the KIA Tigers (0.243). The team’s 11 home runs were the lowest among 10 clubs, less than one-third of SSG Landers (34) in first place.

During this period, experienced Jeon Jun-woo (batting average 0.302, OPS 0.831) and second-year Yun Dong-hee (batting average 0.306, OPS 0.696) are struggling. However, Rex, a foreign batter who should play the role of a solver, was sluggish with a batting average of 0.234, and veteran players such as Yoo Gang-nam and An Chi-hong were not as expected. It was also a blow that injured people such as Roh Jin-hyeok (back) and Ahn Kwon-soo (elbow) came out.

What is even more regrettable for Lotte is that the starting lineup, which was shaken at the beginning of the season, has stabilized. Park Se-woong, who did not have a quality start for a month in April, rebounded with an ERA of 1.34 in the last 8 games, and foreign pitchers Charlie Barnes and Dan Straley are not perfect, but they are better than the beginning. However, the flow of the other line was cut off at this timing.스포츠토토

As a result, Lotte suffered 6 consecutive losing series in June. The win-loss margin, which once reached +11, became ‘0’ after the loss against LG in Jamsil on the 25th of last month. Even at the beginning of June, the LG Twins and SSG Landers formed a ‘three-round’ system, but now there is no difference between 5th place Doosan and 9th place KIA by 5 games (4.5 games).

Recently, the KBO League is in a situation where great chaos has come to the middle ranks. The Hanwha Eagles, who stayed in 9th place with a win rate in the late 30% range until May, are shaking the game by winning 8 games in a row. In addition, KT Wiz and Kiwoom Heroes, who were sluggish at the beginning of the season, are also struggling. The ride between Lotte and Hanwha, which was 10 games as of May 31, has also narrowed to 4 games. It is said that it is not a situation where you can not be relieved that you are currently in the 4th place.

In particular, Lotte will play the last 9 games of the first half against Hanwha-LG-NC, which are top-ranked or recently on the rise. At least, it showed a strong performance with 5 wins and 1 loss this season against NC, which is in third place by half a game, but it is difficult to be relieved at this point. In the end, the batting line should come to life, but for now, it is difficult to find a clue other than the return of Noh Jin-hyuk, who left due to back pain.

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