Is the bullpen a problem again? The salvation team of the Lotte Giants was shaken again. Contrary to the starting lineup, which has undergone a transformation since May, it is sinking as the days get hotter.
Lotte lost 3-12 in the home game of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League against the LG Twins held at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan on the 8th. Lotte, who broke three consecutive losses in the game on the 6th, could not continue the trend and gave up the game.
On this day, Lotte sent right-hander Park Se-woong as a starting pitcher. He was fighting well this season, ranking 5th in ERA (2.50) before the match. In particular, since May, he has emerged as a top-class pitcher in the league with 4 wins (1 loss) and an average ERA of 1.71.
Park Se-woong could not continue the trend of quality starts (6 or more innings, 3 earned runs or less) in the previous 8 games. Only one Austin Dean in the 4th allowed a 2-run homer hitting the right pole in the top of the 1st inning and a right-handed hit in the 3rd inning. Although the score was given from the beginning, Park Se-woong managed to finish the game 3-3 by digesting 5 innings.
In the beginning of the 6th inning, Park Se-woong lost one point after Oh Ji-hwan’s hit and Park Dong-won’s hit ball followed by Moon Bo-gyeong’s 1 RBI and timely hit after a run. Then, when he induced Park Hae-min to ground the shortstop at number 8 and became 2nd 1st and 3rd base, Lotte put left-hander Kim Jin-wook and started the bullpen. However, Kim Jin-wook was hit by Shin Min-jae with 먹튀검증2 RBIs in a timely manner in the second and third base situations, widening the score to 3-6.
Episode 7 was even worse. When LG made the first and second bases unscathed, Lotte changed the pitcher to Jeong Seong-jong. However, after the sacrifice bunt, LG ran away with Park Dong-won’s two RBIs and Park Hae-min’s one RBI timely hit. LG made a six-run big inning with pitcher Shim Jae-min, who was replaced again, with Hong Chang-ki’s two-run double and Son Ho-young’s left-handed hit, gaining three more runs. When Lotte ended the inning with Jin Seung-hyeon, they changed pitchers three times in the 7th inning. Lotte, who gave up 9 runs in only 2 innings in the 6th and 7th innings, eventually lost the momentum to pursue.
The bullpen is one of Lotte’s recent concerns. On the 5th, against Hanwha in Daejeon, the game, which was trailing 1-3, was returned to the starting point at the beginning of the 8th inning, but at the end of the 8th, Choi Jun-yong gave Choi Jae-hoon two RBIs and scored a loss. In the game against LG in Jamsil on the 25th of last month, starter Dan Strayley scored 1 run with 1 out in the 6th inning despite unstable pitching, but Kim Sang-soo, Koo Seung-min and Kim Won-joong scored a total of 6 points (4 earned) and lost 3-7.
This is also evident in the record. Lotte has an average ERA of 5.17 in the bullpen this season until the 8th, which is the lowest among 10 clubs. It shows a big difference from the league average (4.12), and it is worse than Samsung’s bullpen (5.06 ERA), which is ranked 10th in the team rankings. Bullpen innings are the fewest at 257⅔ innings, but that quality is not coming out. This is compared to the starters who had the league’s fourth-highest ERA (3.78) during the same period.
In fact, even at the beginning of the season, Lotte started the season in a different way. During the month of April, Lotte ranked 6th with a rescue average ERA of 4.35. It was not an outstanding record, but the starting lineup was shaky (5.03 ERA, 10th place), so the role of Guo-jin was important. At that time, Lotte made sure to catch the game with a quick pitcher change.
However, since May, Lotte has found stability with a starting average ERA of 3.29, ranking second after Kiwoom Heroes (3.13). On the other hand, Koo Gu-jin recorded 5.55, remaining at the bottom.
Except for Kim Won-jung (5 wins, 1 loss, 15 saves, 2.91 ERA), other players in Lotte this year are showing ups and downs. Setup man Seung-Min Koo is recording 12 holds, but in the last 10 games, the average ERA is shaking at 6.52. Kim Sang-soo (4.55 ERA) and Kim Jin-wook (4.50), who were the protagonists of Lotte’s blast at the beginning of the season, are also not in the same form as before. Choi Jun-yong, who was in the winning team last season, and Han Hyun-hee, a free agent who recently joined the salvation team, have yet to get on the right track.
Recently, Lotte manager Larry Sutton said to the bullpen, “Pitchers can lose their pitches when their physical condition gets tired.” do,” he pointed out. However, it has not yet come true as the director wished.