Fall baseball’s chances are slim
Pitching, hitting, and defense in a vicious cycle
Seven-game losing streak puts them five games behind fifth-place KIA
Sutton steps down, replaced by Lee Jong-woon
A total mess. The Lotte Giants, who are in the midst of a two-game losing streak, have faced their biggest crisis of the season, with manager Larry Sutton relinquishing the baton. As a result, Lotte’s chances of making it to the fall baseball season are slim.
Lotte was swept in a three-game weekend series against KT WIZ at Busan’s Sajik Stadium on Nov. 25, falling into a vicious cycle where the starting pitching silenced the bats and the bullpen gave way when the offense came alive. It was their first seven-game losing streak of the season and dropped them five games behind the fifth-place KIA Tigers.
Starter Na Gyun-ahn recorded his first quality start (six innings or fewer) in 79 days with seven innings of two-run ball against KT on July 27, but the offense was held to one run as William Cuevas was held in check. He lost 1-2 to a sporadic offense that never produced a consecutive hit.
In the previous game, the offense backed up Park Se-woong (six innings, two runs) with 13 hits and six runs. But in the top of the eighth inning with a 5-2 lead, Koo Seung-min walked after being hit by three pitches and reliever Kim Won-joong, who was handed the ball, gave up a single to KT Park with the bases loaded. The defense was also disappointing, as all three of third baseman Niko Gudrum’s throwing errors led to runs.
On the 25th, Aaron Wilkerson did his job with seven innings of one-run ball, but the offense failed to find a rhythm with starter Wes Benjamin, failing to reach base after the first inning. A throwing error by shortstop Bae Young-bin in the top of the second inning led to a run for KT, resulting in a 1-3 loss.
During the losing streak, which began on April 18 against the Kiwoom Heroes, Lotte’s starting pitching staff was dominant, ranking first in the league in ERA (2.72), but its batting average (0.220), which ranked ninth, was a drag. The bullpen also struggled with a 12.27 ERA.
Add to that the resignation of manager Sutton after last weekend’s series, and Lotte was a sinking ship without a captain. Sutton vacated the dugout twice this month after complaining of dizziness. For the rest of the season, assistant coach Lee Jong-woon will lead the team as acting head coach.스포츠토토
Sports TV commentator Min Hoon-ki said, “During the losing streak, both the offense and defense faltered due to the stagnation of the batting lineup and repeated mistakes. There were also many upset losses as Koo Seung-min, who had been playing well throughout the season, slumped.” “With the change of coach making it difficult for the players to gain strength, it seems difficult to advance to the top five unless a miraculous winning streak occurs,” he explained.