I haven’t even tasted autumn in 4 years… The first meeting of the ‘Band electrode’ flow bullet tide alliance. ‘Leading chasing vs. Elimination of last place’ statue, different dreams
For four consecutive seasons, they hovered together at the bottom of the leaderboard. In April, the situation was a little different.
Lotte Giants and Hanwha Eagles will play three consecutive matches during the week starting on the 25th at Sajik Stadium in Busan.
Lotte’s last postseason advancement was in 2017, and Hanwha in 2018. Both teams were in the semi-playoffs. Of the 10 KBO league teams, only two teams, Lotte and Hanwha, have failed to step on the fall baseball stage for the past four years. Among the 10 clubs, they are also two teams with foreign coaches at the helm.
The selection for the first game is a face-to-face confrontation between ‘4 billion FA’ Han Hyun-hee (Lotte) and real ace Jang Min-jae (Hanwha). He is a native veteran of both teams’ starters. Strayley and Na Kyun-an are the most likely players for Lotte, and Kim Min-woo and Pena for Hanwha are next in the order.
The momentum of Lotte, which achieved 4 consecutive wins while achieving the first series sweep of the season, is dazzling. Ranked 4th on the leaderboard. It is 2 games away from SSG-LG, who is competing for the lead, and 1 game away from 3rd place Doosan. If he achieves a sweep against Hanwha, it is worth aiming for a leap to the top spot.
8 wins and 4 losses in 4 series played over 2 weeks, only 3 winning series. During the same period, the team’s batting average (5th), OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage, 6th), ERA (10th), etc. is a hard-to-understand upward trend.
Unlike previous years, it is strong in the game. Out of 8 wins, there are 6 bloody fights within 2 points. It is a great harvest that Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong’s back door found a sense of stability. Kim Jin-wook is making a big success with an average ERA of 0 in 7 games in bridge and long relief, and Choi Jun-yong added more weight to the bullpen. From pitcher replacement to pinch hitters, it seems that the number of matches on the bench works well in each match.
The game against the NC Dinos on the 23rd was pushed back until the 8th inning, but after the first game, Lee Yong-chan, who had been recording a scoreless score until the Lotte Series, was defeated again and won a come-from-behind victory. If only Han Dong-hee, who had sunk with a batting average of 105 (9 hits in 60 at-bats), survives, the overall strength of the team’s batting line will be formidable.
The Achilles heel is the starters. Na Kyun-an alone made all of the team’s quality starts (with 3 earned runs or less in 6 starting innings) and won 3 wins. The remaining 4 starters have only 2 victories. The average innings is also less than 5 innings. In particular, the foreign duo Strayley (6.27 ERA) and Barnes (8.40) need a turning point.
Han Hyun-hee is in a position to show a reversal. He signed a free agent contract with a greater incentive (2.2 billion won)스포츠토토 than the guaranteed annual salary (1.8 billion won).
Since opening, he has yet to show impressive pitching. His earned run average in his first three games is 8.79. Lee In-bok, who recorded an average ERA of 4.19 with 9 wins and 9 losses last year, is also preparing to return in May or June.
Hanwha recorded 2 wins and 4 losses last week. In particular, the reverse victory against LG on the 23rd was dramatic.
Chae Eun-seong, who runs second overall in OPS (1.022) and leads the entire team, is noteworthy. For Hanwha, Chae Eun-seong and Roh Si-hwan (0.881) need to get out of last place before the cycle shakes. The revival of Jeong Eun-won (batting average 201 01), who had 3 hits against LG, is also desperately needed.
Hanwha also has a reliable bullpen, which ranks third in ERA (4.03). Moon Dong-ju went down to the 2nd team for a break. The starting pitchers are desperate. This is why it is important for Jang Min-jae, who will open the door to a three-game series, to show a sense of stability after overcoming the slump in the last Doosan match.
Although they are currently located at the bottom of the leaderboard, they are half a game behind Samsung Lions in 9th place and one and a half games behind Kiwoom Heroes in 7th place. Depending on the results of this three-game series in Busan, it is worth aiming to escape from the bottom as well as finish last.