‘Lefty phobia’ escapes! Ahn Chi-hong’s first pitch→Jung Hoon’s second→Son Seong-bin’s wedge hit…Lotte wins 2 in a row over KIA

August 11, 2023 | by

Last in batting average against lefties (2-for-3) and last in OPS (slugging percentage + on-base percentage, 0.627). In 2023, the Lotte Giants were a self-proclaimed “lefty fool” team.

But history is history, and statistics are only predictive of the future. There are a lot of variables that can change the outcome of a series, including the health of the players on both sides, their development, and the recovery of injuries.

The Lotte Giants won 7-1 against the KIA Tigers at Sajik Stadium in Busan on April 11, extending their winning streak to two games. It was a combination of the ace’s steady pitching and the offense’s vigorous hitting.

Kia arrived in Busan early and was well-rested after the previous day’s game was canceled due to rain. Lotte, on the other hand, was short on rest, arriving in Busan at 4 a.m. after a hard-fought game the day before.

It wasn’t without its own setbacks, including the loss of key bullpen veteran Kim Sang-soo to injury. However, Lotte manager Larry Sutton commented on the win the day before, saying, “The players were confident in their batting approach. We also made a lot of good plays on the bases,” he said.

It was a feel-good victory, with the veterans opening the floodgates and the rookies keeping the flow going. Lotte’s lineup, which featured right-handed batters such as Yoon Dong-hee, An Chi-hong, Goodrum, and Jeon Jun-woo, was designed to target KIA’s left-handed starter Panoni, and it worked.

Ahn opened the scoring in the first inning with a solo shot. In the second inning, Jung-hoon added another solo shot. Ahn adjusted his bat in the third inning with a double, and in the fifth inning, he hit another single to left-center field with one out. An error by the KIA center fielder Socrates made it 3-0.

Lotte’s momentum did not stop. In the bottom of the sixth inning, Jung-hoon walked and stole second base against reliever Kim Yoo-shin. Kim Min-seok’s pitch deflected off the glove of Kia third baseman Kim Do-young for an RBI single. Noh Jin-hyuk, who had been in a slump, continued the rally with a bunt single that caught Shift off guard, and Son Sung-bin followed with an RBI single. 메이저놀이터

In the bottom of the eighth inning, the team scored two more runs against KIA’s Kim Ki-hoon, combining a Jung-hoon walk, an error by first baseman Choi Won-jun on Kim Min-seok’s bunt, a Noh Jinhyeok sacrifice fly, and a lucky hit by Son Sung-bin to decide the game.

Wilkerson pitched six scoreless innings to extend his streak to 14 consecutive scoreless innings, proving once again that he is the spearhead of the team’s August comeback. KIA scored a run in the bottom of the seventh against Lotte’s second pitcher, Shin Jeong-rak, but was thwarted by Choi Jun-yong and Kim Do-gyu.


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