Defeating Lotte two days in a row in front of a full crowd, ‘Young Giant’ experiencing growing pains in ‘PS level’ tension￼
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The home stadium of the Lotte Giants was packed with 10,000 spectators for two days in a row. However, Lotte gave them only disappointment.
Lotte lost 3-6 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against SSG Landers held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 21st. Lotte, who suffered two losses in a row, had a two-game gap with co-leaders SSG and LG.토토사이트
The content of the game was not very satisfactory. Early in the first inning, starter Charlie Barnes let Choi Jeong take the lead with a left-handed solo shot. Then, in the 3rd inning, Guillermo Heredia and Choi Joo-hwan’s consecutive timely hits and Oh Tae-gon’s sacrifice fly gave 3 more points in the 3rd inning with 1 out, 1st and 3rd base.
In the attack at the end of the 6th inning, Lotte followed up by 2 points with Han Dong-hee’s double and Yoon Dong-hee’s heavy hit. However, in the beginning of the ninth inning, Heredia gave up a two-run double. It was an even more painful loss in that Lotte made a chance for SSG finisher Seo Jin-yong to safely load the bases at the end of the 9th inning.
Previously, Lotte lost 0-5 in the game held the day before. Opponent starter Kim Gwang-hyun was blocked with 1 hit, 9 strikeouts and no runs in 6 innings, and foreign pitcher Dan Strayley also collapsed with 5 runs in 5 innings (4 earned). It was also a regrettable scene that Han Dong-hee’s throwing mistake in the third inning was later connected to Kim Min-sik’s preemptive and timely hit.
Lotte Dan Strayley (far right) looks dark after losing the Sajik SSG match on the 20th.
For two days, Lotte showed a very lethargic performance. In the game on the 20th, I couldn’t even create a chance to do this, and I couldn’t even show equal pitching in the ace fight. The next day, he lost the opportunity that came from the first inning with a double stroke, and even after chasing 2 runs in the 6th inning, he did not get a single point in the 1st and 3rd bases that followed. In addition, newcomer Lee Tae-yeon continued to use him even in the shaky situation in the 9th inning, and the tense flow of the game was resolved.
Although this SSG and 3-game series are early in the season, it is safe to say that they are a series with post-season importance. The two teams maintained a one-game difference before the start of the three-game series, and the rankings could be overturned or the ride could be further apart depending on the game result. In fact, on the first day, Lotte won 7-5 and recaptured the top spot.
Including the recent 3 consecutive winning series, Lotte has never recorded 3 consecutive games recently. The last losing series was a series of three matches against Daegu held on the 14th and 16th of last month. Since then, Lotte has won 9 consecutive wins since the match against Sajik KIA on April 20, and since then, it has consistently made a winning series, except for 1 win and 1 loss (1 game canceled by rain) in the KIA and Gwangju series in early May.
A view of Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan, where the match between SSG and Lotte was held on the 20th. /Photo = Courtesy of Lotte Giants
Accordingly, many Lotte fans visited Sajik Stadium for this series. On the first day, 19,011 people entered, the most on a weekday this season, and all the subsequent two games were sold out (22,990 seats). In particular, the game on the 20th held an event to distribute ‘Camellia uniforms’ to the spectators, and the resignation was spectacular with a red wave.
This was obviously putting pressure on the opposing team. SSG coach Kim Won-hyung analyzed the defeat, saying, “It seems that I am overwhelmed. The players can’t ignore the atmosphere either.” Coach Kim said ahead of the game on the 21st, “Wasn’t the Lotte fans overwhelmed yesterday (20th)? Everything is filled with red waves, so players watching outside can be overwhelmed.”
However, the problem was that even the home team Lotte players played under pressure. During the 2nd consecutive loss period, Lotte did not come out with a cool timely hit except for the bottom of the 6th inning of the game on the 21st. The trusted foreign pitcher, one-two punch, barely managed to complete 5 innings, and made mistakes in the hot corner for two days in a row. It seems that the burden felt by players who are not accustomed to big games must have been considerable.
Lotte coach Larry Sutton said, “It’s like a game where the players tasted the playoff atmosphere,” and “I think it’s a great experience for young players.” Coach Sutton said, “More fans will visit the ballpark in the second half, but I think the players have experienced that in advance and learned how to concentrate in such a situation.”
As coach Sutton said, the Lotte team had a valuable experience in this series, playing an important game that many fans visited. However, in the end, pro is the place to prove it. And Lotte failed to ‘show and prove’ (show and prove) in this three-game series. In order to go to a higher rank, I had the task of winning even in this situation.
The home stadium of the Lotte Giants was packed with 10,000 spectators for two days in a row. However, Lotte gave them only disappointment. Lotte lost 3-6 in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League home game against SSG Landers held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 21st. Lotte, who suffered two losses…