‘KT · Samsung followed by Hanwha’… Lotte’s 8th, 9th, and 10th place 3 consecutive losing series… 4-5 come-from-behind defeat to Hanwha in 10 innings
‘From KT and Samsung to Hanwha… .’
The Lotte Giants recorded three consecutive losing series against the three clubs that are in the bottom this season. Lotte suffered a 10th overtime loss in the last game of 3 consecutive home matches against the Hanwha Eagles, who are at the bottom of this season, and lost the victory they had secured.
Lotte lost 4-5 in the 8th game of the season against the Hanwha Eagles held at Sajik Stadium in Busan on the 15th. Lotte handed over the leadership of the game to Hanwha as starting pitcher Na Gyun-ahn allowed 3 runs including 2 homers in 4 innings and was knocked out early. The Lotte batting line overcame Na Kyun-an’s run and scored a tie at the end of the 9th inning with concentrated batting and went into overtime, but after unfortunately conceding a run in the top of the 10th inning, they were unable to catch up again and lost 4-5.Lotte starter Na Kyun-an started off by giving up a solo home run that went slightly over the left fence to Hanwha’s lead hitter Lee Jin-young in the first inning. Na Kyun-ahn allowed his second home run this season. Na Kyun-an gave two more hits to the Hanwha batters in the first inning and faced a crisis with two outs on first and second base, but after inducing Moon Hyun-bin to ground the ball in front of the pitcher, he desperately threw the ball to first base to escape the crisis himself.
In the 3rd inning, Na Kyun-an gave up a hit and a walk to Hanwha No. 3 batter Noh Si-hwan and 4th batter Chae Eun-seong, respectively, and faced the situation on first and second base safely. Na Gyun-an successfully reversed the atmosphere by quickly throwing the ball to second base after correcting the ball hit by batter Choi Jae-hoon, and quickly changing to second base. However, Kyun-an Na gave up a two-run home run that went over the right wall to Hyun-bin Moon, who hit his first professional home run in the game the previous day. It is the first time Na Kyun-an has allowed two home runs in one game since switching from catcher to pitcher in 2021.
Na Kyun-an then gave up a walk and a hit again and faced a situation with 2 out 1 and 3 base. Fortunately, Na Kyun-an handled Jung Eun-won with a fly ball in the outfield and did not concede any additional runs.Na Kyun-an found composure in the 4th inning and completed the first tripartite inning that day. Na Kyun-an allowed a hit to Lee Jin-young, the first hitter. However, after striking out Kim In-hwan, he successfully finished the defense in the 4th inning with a 6-4-3 double hit from Noh Si-hwan at bat.
However, Na Kyun-an gave a walk to Chae Eun-seong, the first batter in the 5th inning. Pitching coach Bae Young-soo finally got Na Kyun-an off the mound. Jin Seung-hyeon climbed the mound. Na Kyun-an tried to win 7 wins in the season, but unfortunately went down the mound after recording 8 hits, 2 home runs and 4 walks in 4 innings, 3 runs, and 4 walks as his pitching was faltering. Na Kyun-an recorded 36 of 91 balls thrown that day.
Jin Seung-hyun was calm. Jin Seung-hyun allowed a walk and a hit, but handled the Hanwha lineup with one ground ball and two strikeouts.Lotte batting line worked hard in the at-bat to give Na Kyun-an strength. Lotte hitters actively hit against Hanwha starter Pena. However, he was caught with a straight hit by the Hanwha infield defense every time. Lotte’s batting line failed to find a way to attack as it failed to produce a single hit while striking out 6 times from Pena until the 4th inning. Lotte scored the first hit against Pena in the attack at the end of the 5th inning by Yoon Dong-hee, but due to Rex’s double play and follow-up hitter Han Dong-hee’s outfield floating ball, Lotte failed to score.
Lotte’s 6th mound was guarded by Jeong Seong-jong. Jeong Seong-jong gave a hit to No. 9 hitter Jeong Eun-won, but treated No. 1 hitter Lee Jin-young as a double hit and Kim In-hwan as an infield grounder.
Lotte finally succeeded in counterattacking in the 6th amid the strong fighting of Jin Seung-hyun and Jung Sung-jong. The beginning of the counterattack was opened by ‘Super Rookie’ Kim Min-seok. 8th hitter Yoo Kang-nam succeeded in getting on base by drawing the first walk to Hanwha starter Pena. Lotte’s ninth hitter, Kim Min-seok, pulled a 142km/h fastball after a full-count battle with Pena and hit the season’s second home run that went over the right fence. Kim Min-seok hit his first professional home run in an away game against Hanwha on the 18th of last month, and then made a home run 29 days later. Kim Min-seok showed a strong performance by hitting two home runs against Hanwha.
Jeong Seong-jong went on the mound in the 6th and 7th innings and helped the team pursue by not allowing any points to the Hanwha line-up. Jeong Seong-jong went down the mound after blocking two innings without conceding based on his accurate pitch.
Lotte started the 8th inning Pilseungjo. Koo Seung-min climbed the mound. Koo Seung-min allowed lead batter Lee Do-yoon to go on base with an infield bunt hit. Koo Seung-min allowed Jeong Eun-won, the ninth hitter, to hit a single RBI double through left-center. Lotte had a 2-4, 2-point gap. Koo Seung-min walked Lee Jin-young and was replaced by Choi Lee-jun with two runners left. Choi Lee-joon treated the first batter, Kim In-hwan, as a floating ball in left field안전놀이터, but faced a crisis with the bases loaded by giving a walk to Noh Si-hwan in the third. However, Choi Yi-joon prevented the run by treating hitter Chae Eun-seong as a floating ball in center field.
Lotte coach Larry Sutton pursued with a pinch hitter in the 8th inning. When Hanwha put lefty Kim Beom-soo on the mound, manager Sutton chose right-handed hitter Jeong Hoon instead of lefty hitter Park Seung-wook. Coach Sutton’s pinch hit strategy was a success. Jung Hoon reached second base with a ball that hit the wall in the middle left. After arriving at second base, Jeong-hoon complained of pain in his left side and was replaced by runner Lee Hak-joo.
8th hitter Yoo Kang-nam made a ball that went past the shortstop, and second base runner Lee Hak-joo came home and chased with a one-point lead, 3-4. However, Yoo Kang-nam ran to second base and was tagged out. Lotte was unable to turn the tables as Min-seok Kim and Seong-bin Hwang stepped back with floating balls in the outfield.
Lotte put Kim Won-joong on the mound in the ninth inning. Kim Won-joong treated lead batter No. 5 Choi Jae-hoon with a straight hit to third baseman, and then turned Lee Won-seok to shortstop ground ball. Kim Won-jung treated Jang Jin-hyeok with a shortstop ground ball and launched the final attack to come from behind in the ninth inning.
Lotte laid the foundation for a comeback with An Chi-hong’s hit at the end of the 9th inning. An Chi-hong hit the ball from Park Sang-won, a pitcher who had changed to Hanwha, and made a hit that escaped the side of the second baseman. Batter 3 Jeon Jun-woo succeeded in sending An Chi-hong to second base with a ground ball. Yoon Dong-hee resigned with a strikeout, but Lotte had Rex. Rex received Park Sang-won’s first pitch and hit a timely 1 RBI hit in front of the left fielder. Lotte made the first tie in 3 hours and 30 minutes from the start of the game. An Chi-hong scored 800 points for the 45th time as he came home. The follow-up hitter Han Dong-hee made a ball that went to the right, but was unfortunately caught by right fielder Jang Jin-hyeok. Lotte went into overtime.
Lotte Sutton coach Kim Do-gyu on the mound in the 10th inning. Kim Do-gyu gave Jung Eun-won a walk. Pitching coach Bae Young-soo immediately decided to replace the pitcher with Shin Jeong-rak. Hanwha No. 1 hitter Lee Jin-young attempted a sacrifice bunt. The ball fell between the pitcher and first baseman, and Shin Jeong-rak and Jeon Jun-woo overlapped, allowing Lee Jin-young to reach first base.
Lotte intentionally sent Noh Si-hwan, who had a good sense of hitting, to the 4th pitch in the game. Lotte was put in a situation with one company full. Shin Jeong-rak gave Chae Eun-seong a hit in front of the center fielder and allowed a 4-5 turnaround. The situation with one company full base continued. Shin Jeong-rak overcame a hurdle by turning Choi Jae-hoon into a strikeout in the 5th. Shin Jung-rak even struck out Lee Won-seok and saved the team from a bases loaded crisis.
At the end of the 10th inning, Lotte once again took on the challenge of ending the game. Lotte’s lead batter Lee Hak-joo struck out Hanhwa Park Sang-won. Gangnam Yoo also retired with a ground ball from third base, leaving the last out count. Even Min-seok Kim resigned with a knockout strikeout, and Lotte recorded a losing series unfortunately.