Sweep of League 2 SSG… Lotte’s ‘8th Chiol’ has begun
Lotte completed a 15-4 home sweep of SSG Landers in the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League at Sajik Baseball Stadium in Busan at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday. Riding a four-game winning streak, Lotte improved to 50 wins and 51 losses on the season, moving up the standings from seventh to sixth place.
Lotte used the game as a bullpen day. After starter Shim Jae-min gave up two runs in three innings, Han Hyun-hee pitched two scoreless innings in relief. At the plate, Yoo Kang-nam and Jeon Jun-woo, who returned to the lineup after a three-week absence, led the way with three and four hits, respectively. Lotte used a nine-run eighth inning to break down SSG.
Lotte went on a hot streak at the beginning of the season, including a nine-game winning streak for the first time in 15 years, to form a three-way tie with the LG Twins and SSG.
In June, Lotte fell off a cliff. Foreign pitcher Dan Straily pitched up and down. The closer, Koo Seung-min, faltered with a 2-1 record and a 5.91 ERA.
The bats went silent as well. Lotte’s team batting average in June was .252, ninth in the league, and its OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) was last (0.654). A new star was born in Yoon Dong-hee, but the silence of foreign hitters Jack Rex and Han Dong-hee further accelerated Lotte’s downward spiral.
In the end, Lotte finished the first half in fifth place (38 wins and 39 losses). It was a disappointing finish compared to their hot start to the season.
The second half was a different story. First, Koo Seung-min regained his composure. Prior to this game, Koo was 2-0 with six saves and a 1.42 ERA in the second half.
Rookie Kim Min-seok and veteran Jeon Jun-woo have also been outstanding. Kim Min-seok hasn’t looked like a rookie in the second half of the season, batting .341 with an OPS of .860 before this game. Veteran Jeon Jun-woo has completely rebounded, hitting .455 with three home runs in his last 10 games.
Catcher Shin Jung-geun has been phenomenal. Lee has been dazzling this season with a .418 batting average and 1.115 OPS. He has filled in 120% of the void left by the loss of starting catcher Yoo Kang-nam to injury.
With all of these positives, Lotte has cruised through the second half of the season with a 13-11 record. They are now just one win away from returning to the five-win club. 토토사이트
With Lotte’s hot streak, the KBO’s mid-table is expected to change. Currently, only 2.5 games separate the fourth-place NC Dinos from the sixth-place Lotte. With Lotte’s recent surge, fourth place is certainly within reach.
The phrase “8chiol” (8 months to go) originated in 2020 when former coach Heo Mun-ho said, “Lotte will go up in August. The phrase has been used by fans every year since then in a mocking way, but this year’s August is truly different. Lotte’s hot August continues.