The Lotte Giants had an unexpected midweek three-game series. They dropped all three games against the 10th-ranked KT Wiz. The problem was that the three games were so close that they had to use all of their best pitchers, and they couldn’t get a win.
After losing the sixth and seventh games in a row, a dark cloud began to fall over Lotte. They didn’t have any pitchers who could go out and pitch in the event of a close Game 8.
With a 1-2 lead in Game 6, Lotte sent in Kim Sang-soo, Koo Seung-min, Kim Do-gyu, Choi Yi-jun, Kim Jin-wook, and Yoon Myung-joon and lost 4-1. In Game 7, Lotte sent Koo Seung-min, Kim Won-jung, Kim Do-gyu, and Yoon Myung-joon to the mound in the eighth inning after starter Charlie Barnes pitched seven innings. Despite being down 1-2, they were determined to win the game, and while they managed to tie the game at 2-2, they gave up the winning run in the top of the 10th inning of extra innings and lost the game 2-3.
With a one-point lead, Lotte had a chance to pull off the upset, so they put in their best pitcher to win the game, but the scenario drawn by Sutton didn’t work out and they lost three straight games. Three straight losses since Sunday’s game against KIA.
Now the game on the 8th is in question. With Kim Sang-soo and Kim Jin-wook demoted to the second team, set-up man Koo Seung-min threw 16 pitches for the second day in a row, making it difficult for him to pitch today. Kim Do-kyu threw 56 pitches in three appearances in four days: 15 against KIA on the 4th, 26 on the 6th, and 15 on the 7th. He was unsure of his performance for the third consecutive day and needed to mentally manage his pitching due to the previous day’s bombing.
Kim Won-joong threw 26 pitches on the seventh day, four days after his third start. He can pitch back-to-back games and could be used in a save situation.
In place of Kim Sang-soo and Kim Jin-wook, there were Jang Se-jin and Jung Sung-jong, who were newly called up on the seventh, and Jin Seung-hyun, Choi Yi-jun, Yoon Myung-joon, and Park Jin, who were available.
In order for Lotte to win, starter Dan Streely would need to keep the innings long with as few runs as possible and score runs in between.
“Scoring first was the most important thing today, and we needed to set the tone,” Sutton said before the game.
However, that didn’t happen. Instead, we gave up a run in the top of the first inning and quickly added another. KT took the lead and kept the momentum going.
Staley was gone after five innings and 먹튀검증 102 pitches. In the sixth inning, the bullpen was activated with Jin Seung-hyun. After Jin Seung-hyun pitched a scoreless sixth inning, Jung Sung-jong came on in the top of the seventh and worked out of a bases-loaded jam.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, a miracle happened. Kim Min-seok doubled, Jung Hoon singled, and Jeon Jun-woo hit a tying two-run shot to tie the game at 5-5.
Lotte had hope of winning again. Top of the 8th inning. Sutton kept Jeong on for now, but when he walked leadoff hitter Hwang Jae-gyun, he replaced him with left-hander Jang Se-jin to face left-handed hitter Jeong Jun-young. After a sacrifice bunt by Jung put runners on first and second, Lotte made another move. They brought up Koo Seung-min. With the game on the line, they had no choice but to call on their most trusted set-up man, Koo Seung-min.
Koo gave up a walk to the first batter he faced. He then got Kim Min-hyuk to fly out to center field, but Hwang Jae-gyun, the second baseman, stole third, putting runners on second and third. Kim Sang-soo did his part by striking out the side to end the game.
Top of the 9th inning. Closer Kim Won-joong came up. It wasn’t good. He gave up a walk to Moon Sang-chul and a single to Park Byung-ho to put runners on first and second. But Lotte’s defense held firm. Park’s fake bunt and slash was caught by Kim Min-soo, the third baseman fielding the grounder, and thrown to third for the out. Jang Sung-woo then hit a line drive to center field that shortstop Park Seung-wook made a sliding catch to force out the runner at second base. However, Hwang Jae-gyun hit a double to the left-center field fence and Lotte’s momentum was broken again. The runner from third came home to make it 5-6.
Lotte came back to life. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Ahn Chi-hong’s lucky hit tied the game at 6-6 and sent the game into extra innings.
With all of the available relievers used up, we were curious to see who would pitch in the extra innings. In the top of the 10th inning, Choi Lee-joon pitched well. He got out of the top of the 10th inning with a triple play, and the top of the 11th inning was scoreless.
However, he was unable to get out of the top of the 12th inning. The eighth pitcher, Yoon Myung-joon, loaded the bases with a single, a walk, and a hit by pitch, but gave up a squeeze bunt to Lee Sang-ho to score a run. Bottom of the 12th inning. KT finally called on Park Young-hyun, who was coming off of two straight days of rest. It was a total war as KT used all their pitches. The game ended with a triple play.
Lotte used all of their best pitchers on all three days, but they lost, which was a fatal blow. They will have to rest Kim Won-joong and Koo Seung-min against the Samsung Lions in Daegu on the 9th, so it won’t be easy to create a must-win group.